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Dorel Expands Recall of Stair Gates Due to Fall Hazard

Aug 7, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Importer Dorel Juvenile Group USA, of Columbus, Indiana just issued a recall of about 31,500 Safety 1st SmartLight Stair Gates, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced. Of note, 100,000 units were previously recalled in February 2009, the CPSC said. The original recall announcement can be accessed at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09117.html

The Safety 1st SmartLight Stair Gates were recalled because the hinges that hold the stair gate in place can break, posing a fall hazard to children if the gate is placed at the top of the stairs. To date, no injuries or incidents have been reported.

The recall involves the Safety 1st SmartLight Stair Gate, which was manufactured in China, with model number 42111, which is printed on a sticker under the handle panel. The gates, which were manufactured before December 20, 2008, are white metal with a gray handle and a motion sensor nightlight that illuminates on approach. The manufacture date is located below the gate's handle as a date wheel imprinted in the plastic; an arrow indicates the month, and the year is stamped inside the circle. The manufacture date is also printed on a sticker inside the battery door.

The recalled Safety 1st SmartLight Stair Gate was sold at mass merchandise and juvenile product stores nationwide, including Babies R Us, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart.com and other online retailers from January 2005 through July 2009 for about $60.

The CPSC is advising consumer to stop using the recalled gate and contact the company to obtain a free repair kit. Consumers can call Dorel Juvenile Group toll-free at 1-866-690-2540 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time; complete an online order form on the Dorel Juvenile Group Web site at www.djgusa.com/safety_notice/ to obtain their free repair kit; email the company at Smartlightgate@djgusa.com, or send a fax to 1-800-207-8182. Consumers should not return the stair gates to retail stores.

In recent years, imports from China have been at the center of safety worries in the United States and other countries. For instance, there was a heparin contamination with a counterfeit ingredient linked to dozens of deaths in the U.S., and hundreds of serious reactions here and abroad. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called for recalls of several foods imported from China that may have been tainted with the industrial chemical melamine; melamine-tainted dairy products hospitalized thousands of children in that country. We have also long been reporting that despite federal lead standards and that many consider lead poisoning to be one of the most important chronic environmental illnesses affecting children today, toys—many imported from China—continue to be made with elements that exceed federal standards and that could pose serious, sometimes fatal, health concerns.

In recent months, the defective Chinese drywall debacle has been making news and plaguing homeowners with sulfur fumes that smell like “rotten eggs” and cause air conditioning coils to corrode as well as sinus and respiratory ailments, eye and skin irritation, persistent runny or bloody noses, headaches, and asthma. Some situations were so severe that residents had to vacate their homes.


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