WASHINGTON – Despite several recalls and warnings, the number of reported baby deaths linked to defective Simplicity cribs is now up to 11.
The most recent death occurred in September when a 7-month-old child from Princeton, Ky., became entrapped in the crib when a part of it broke, said the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Thursday.
The agency also said it's aware of another 25 incidents involving drop-side parts detaching from Simplicity cribs.
The recall of Simplicity-manufactured cribs began in December 2005. More than 2 million Simplicity drop-side cribs have been recalled so far because of problems with their plastic hardware. Some of the recalled cribs have the Graco logo and Winnie the Pooh motif.
The crib's hardware can break or deform, causing the drop side to detach. This detachment creates a space between the drop side and crib mattress that babies can roll into and become entrapped, leading to suffocation risk.
The agency's announcement on Thursday that 11 babies have died was a big jump from earlier recall announcements that reported only three baby deaths.
The agency has previously announced that a 9-month-old child and a 6-month-old child had died when the drop side was installed upside down. The agency had also announced the death of an 8-month-old child from Houston who became entrapped and suffocated between the drop side and the crib mattress when a plastic connector on the drop side broke.
The agency announced the new death tally with another reminder to parents about the dangers of Simplicity cribs. Simplicity's assets were bought by SFCA Inc. last year but neither company appears to be conducting day-to-day operations.
The agency says caregivers should check their cribs to see whether they have a recalled Simplicity crib. If they do, consumers should stop using them immediately and should not attempt to fix the cribs.