Two infants were strangled to death in Simplicity brand close-sleeper-style bassinets, after their bodies slipped under a metal bar that runs along the portion of the bassinet that can be opened, but their heads remained stuck under the bar, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported. Those deaths prompted the CPSC to issue a warning urging parents and caregivers to cease using Simplicity 3-in-1 and 4-in-1 bassinets that allowed for fabric covering the bar at issue to be folded down to create a co-sleeping position.
The CPSC issued the safety alert because SFCA Inc., which purchased all of Simplicity Inc's assets at a public auction in April, refused to recall the models at issue, the CPCS said. SFCA, an affiliate of the private equity fund Blackstreet Capital Partners, LLC, "maintains that it is not responsible for products previously manufactured by Simplicity Inc," the CPSC stated.
Following the CPSC's alert, six major retailers agreed to stop sale and to recall nearly 900,000 of the Simplicity bassinets identified to be dangerous. Some of the recalled bassinets included Graco and "Winnie the Pooh" brands as well, the CPSC later announced.
The bassinet recall was followed with more bad news for the Simplicity brand. In September, the CPSC announced the recall of 600,000 Simplicity drop-side cribs because of a "serious entrapment and suffocation hazard." Sizing problems with the crib's hardware can cause the drop side to come off its tracks, detach, and create a dangerous gap, the CPSC said.
This time, SFCA cooperated in the recall, according to a notice on Simplicity's website.
The recalls this fall follow the recall of 1 million Simplicity cribs in September 2007 because of failures that resulted in infant deaths, according to the CPSC. Two deaths occurred when the drop side of the cribs were installed upside down.
Read corporate information regarding the crib recall at simplicityforchildren.com.
Read about the purchase of Simplicity's assets at reuters.com.