Considering a baby monitor is generally used to monitor a baby's health and well-being, it's more than a little shocking that Summer Infant is recalling its baby monitors with cords, due to two strangulation deaths.
More than 40 different models, video, digital, and handheld, have been recalled after a 10-month-old girl strangled on the cord last March, and a 6-month-old baby strangled on the cord in November. The models will be re-labeled with instructions so parents know to keep the cord at least three feet away from the crib.
We had a Summer Infant video baby monitor, and while I'm struggling to remember what we did about the cord, I would hope it was far away from the crib, where our baby girl slept. But I don't remember any warning about keeping it at least three feet away. Which is why a recall like this one is right on the line between ridiculous and absolutely necessary.
You hope that parents know not to leave any type of cord near the baby -- especially electrical. But strangulation deaths due to blinds and now baby monitors show that this may not be the case. Which is why it feels like user error rather than a manufacturer problem when you think, "How could a parent keep a cord inside a crib?"
However, as they re-label the packaging to specify the distance of at least three feet, I'm sure that we didn't have the cord at least three feet away from my daughter. We lived in a very small apartment and three feet away would have almost been in the next room. We also didn't have it inside the crib, but as a grabby baby, I'm wondering if she could have reached it. I honestly don't remember.
As I pointed out before, baby sleeping gear is coming under scrutiny with The Consumer Products Commission focusing more on baby safety. So these thin lines will most likely continue to move to the side of caution.
If you have a Summer Infant baby monitor here's what you need to know:
CPSC and Summer Infant urge parents to immediately check the location of the video monitors, including cameras mounted on the wall, and all electric cords to make sure the cords are out of arm’s reach of their child. Consumers should contact Summer Infant toll-free at (800) 426-8627 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's website at www.summerinfant.com/Home/Product-Recall.aspx to receive a new permanent electric cord warning label about the strangulation risk and revised instructions about how to safely mount camera and keep cords out of child’s reach.
Do you think this recall is more about user error or necessary?
Image via Summer Infant