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Recalls: Danger In Your House?

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is conducting a recall roundup in an effort to get hazardous products out of people's homes. Despite recall notices and public warnings issued throughout recent years, CPSC has found that consumers are still using many dangerous and potentially lethal products.

"People should do some spring cleaning and check their attics and other storage areas for old products that could be hazardous," says CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "We can get dangerous products off store shelves, but the real challenge is to get them out of families' homes."

Just some of the many hazardous products that CPSC fears might still be in consumers' homes are:

  • Play yards and playpens that have protruding rivets.

    Rivets can pose pose a strangulation hazard to toddlers if pacifier strings or loose (or loosely woven) clothing catch on the rivets.

  • CPSC is aware of eight deaths of toddlers who strangled when a string or clothing caught on the playpens' protruding rivets. CPSC obtained voluntary recalls for 9.6 million units of the following play yards/playpens with protruding rivets:

    • Bilt-Rite
    • Evenflo
    • Gerry
    • Graco
    • Kolcraft
    • Playskool
    • Pride-Trimble
    • Strolee
    To get a repair kit or refund (depending on the brand), people should call 800-794-4115.
  • Ride-on battery-powered Power Wheels vehicles by Fisher-Price made before October 1998.
  • The CPSC says they have electrical components that can overheat and cause fires.

    CPSC knows of 700 reports of electrical components failing and overheating while the cars and trucks were being ridden, charged, parked, or stored. About 150 fires have been reported, and nine children suffered minor burns. Property damage also occurred to 22 houses and garages. In addition, there have been 71 reports of Power Wheels vehicles not stopping because of this electrical problem. Approximately 10 million products are involved.

    People should remove the batteries and call Fisher-Price at 800-977-7800 or access the company's Web site at to get free repair of the Power Wheels vehicles.

  • Horizontal (under-the-counter) Spacemaker Optima toaster (model T1000) by Black & Decker.
  • The CPSC says they can allow food to catch fire. When the door automatically opens, flames escape and expose cabinets to fire.

    CPSC knows of 1,066 fires and eight burns. There are 234,000 toasters included in this recall.

    People can get a free replacement product by calling Black & Decker on 800-746-2159.

  • Infant car seat/carrier "On My Way" Model 207 and 492 made before July 27, 1997, by Evenflo Company.
  • The handles n these items can be released unexpectedly, causing the seat to flip forward and the infant to fall. CPSC knows of 89 injuries to children. Approximately 800,000 car seat/carriers are involved.

    People should call Evenflo Company on 800-203-2138 to get free repair.

  • Mini-hammocks without spreader bars.
  • CPSC warns they can twist around children's necks as they are getting into or out of the mini-hammock, resulting in strangulation and death.

    CPSC knows of 12 deaths to children in mini-hammocks. Approximately 3 million such mini-hammocks without spreader bars were recalled in 1996. People should return the mini-hammocks to the store or destroy them.

  • Infant swing "Lil Napper" model by Century Products Company.
  • This can strangle a child if the shoulder straps loosen or are unbuckled and the child becomes entangled. CPSC knows of four deaths and one near-strangulation. There were 125,000 units of the Lil Napper Infant Swing recalled in 1997.

    People should call Century Products on 800-231-1448 to get a free repair kit.

For more information:

The list doesn't stop here. For a complete list of recalled products and information on what to look for when buying products, consumers may call the CPSC hotline at 800-638-2772 or visit their Web site at

For information on specific recalls, go to CPSC Press Releases

"CPSC sometimes learns of deaths or serious injuries caused by previously recalled products. We want to prevent these needless tragedies," says Brown. "We urge people to get CPSC's list of recalls and check for old products that could be hazardous."

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