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Big recall of baby monitors linked to 2 deaths

Big recall of baby monitors linked to 2 deaths
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Friday, February 11, 2011 - 5:14pm

WASHINGTON – Nearly 2 million Summer Infant video baby monitors were recalled Friday after being linked to the strangulation deaths of two infants.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says the electrical cords on the monitors can be dangerous for babies if placed too close to their cribs.

According to the commission, a 10-month-old girl from Washington, D.C., died in March when she strangled on the cord of a Summer Infant monitor camera that had been placed on the top of the crib rail. In November, a 6-month-old boy from Conway, S.C., strangled in the electrical cord of a baby monitor placed on the changing table attached to his crib.

CPSC and Summer Infant are also aware of a 20-month-old boy from Pittsburgh who nearly strangled on a camera cord that was mounted to the wall in reach of the child.

Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum says cords and kids can be a deadly combination.

"I urge all parents and caregivers to put at least 3 feet between any video or audio baby monitor cords and a child in a crib," she said. "This simple step can save your child's life."

In all, about 1.7 million monitors — more than 40 different models of handheld, digital and color monitors — are being recalled by Summer Infant, based in Woonsocket, R.I.

The company will provide new on-product warning labels and instructions about monitor placement.

The monitors were sold at major retailers nationwide between 2003 and 2011.

The commission first warned about the potential danger of monitor cords last October. Since 2004, seven children have strangled on baby monitor cords placed too close to a crib.

In addition to the recall linked to strangulations, Summer Infant also is recalling the rechargeable batteries in another 58,000 video monitors exclusively sold at Babies R Us in 2009 and 2010. The commission says the batteries sold with certain Slim and Secure Video Monitors can overheat, rupture and possibly burn people.

The company has received five reports of ruptured batteries, including three cases of property damage.

For more information on model numbers of recalled monitors, consumers can contact Summer Infant at 800-426-8627.

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