Four infants died of strangulation in Graco brand strollers, prompting the company to recall approximately two million of its strollers this month. More than 80 models were part of the Graco recall, which the company instituted voluntarily after learning of the four infant deaths. The deaths occurred between 2003 and 2005, and it’s not clear why it took so long for the company to take action.
The four infants strangled when they slipped down in the strollers and became wedged in the leg holes, between the seat bottoms and the trays on the strollers. Other infants were injured in the same manner, but recovered after receiving only minor cuts and bruises.
Strollers manufactured prior to 2008 did not allow enough space for infants to easily slip through this space, thereby avoiding such tragedies. All the models identified in the Graco stroller recall were sold between the years 2000 and 2007. In 2008, Graco, along with several other manufacturers of children’s products, instituted a voluntary standard that widened the opening between strollers’ trays and seat bottoms to prevent this exact type of entrapment which can lead to strangulation.
Unfortunately, the 2008 standard came too late for these four babies and their families. Parents buy products for their children trusting that they’ve been tested and are safe to use. Graco is a trusted name, having been in the business of manufacturing children’s products for more than 60 years. It’s especially disconcerting when a well known brand releases defective child products. The effects are devastating because the problem usually isn’t discovered until after a child is injured or killed.
What should you do if you suspect you own a defective stroller? First, check the list of recalled models to confirm whether your stroller is part of the recall. If you bought a stroller new after 2008, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. But if you bought it prior to that year, or you bought it secondhand and aren’t sure of the manufacture date, carefully check the Graco stroller recall list to see if your model is there.
If your stroller is included in the Graco recall, stop using it immediately, and contact the company for a free repair kit. If your stroller is on that list, and at any time while using it your baby was injured, you may consider contacting a product liability attorney. The repair kit will fix the stroller, but it won’t erase the injuries or pain your baby might have suffered due to a defective product. A lawyer can help you navigate the situation, and determine whether you are entitled to any compensation.
We hope nothing ever hurts your baby. But if anything unfortunate happens as a result of a faulty product, we will be there for you.