Simplicity 4-in-1 Bassinet Implicated in Death of Baby Girl

A Simplicity Bassinet may have claimed the life of a 4-month-old Missouri girl last month, raising fears that September’s massive crib recall was not far reaching enough. At that time, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled more than 1 million <"">defective Simplicity and Graco cribs that had been blamed for the deaths of 3 children. The Simplicity Bassinet implicated in this tragedy was not part of that recall action.

According to the Associated Press, the parents of Katelynn Marie Simon found her unresponsive in her Simplicity 4-in-1 Bassinet on the morning of September 29, 2007. The infant had slipped out the side of the bassinet between a lower horizontal railing and her mattress, and had become trapped in a 4-inch gap between the railing and top of the mattress. The McDonald County Coroners Office has ruled the little girl’s death an “accidental positional asphyxiation.”

A McDonald County deputy sheriff who investigated Katelynn’s death told the Associated Press that the design of the Simplicity 4-in-1 Bassinet was to blame for the tragedy. The Sheriff’s office notified the CPSC of the incident, and inspectors from the agency recently traveled to Missouri to inspect the bassinet and watch a recreation of the accident. There has been no word yet on whether or not the CPSC will issue a recall of the Simplicity 4-in-1 Bassinet.

The bassinette implicated in Katelynn Simon’s death is model number 3112DOH6 and is decorated with Winnie the Pooh characters. It is a very popular model, and sells for about $90 in retail stores and specialty shops around the country. The Simon’s lawyer told the Associated Press that the family wants the crib recalled.

Last month, the CPSC issued a recall notice for 1.2 million Simplicity and Graco cribs because a flaw in the design of the cribs allowed parents to install the drop rail upside down. When this happened, the drop rail could separate from the crib, creating a gap into which a child could fall and suffocate. Three children died in those faulty cribs before they were finally recalled.

The CPSC was subjected to harsh criticism following that crib recall. When the agency investigated the death of a 9-month-old boy in one of the recalled cribs in 2005, its inspector did not even bother to identify the type of crib involved in his death. According to that child’s parents, the CPSC did not even inspect the Simplicity crib that killed him. And according to a report in the Chicago Tribune, the CPSC only decided to issue the Simplicity and Graco crib recall after it learned that the newspaper was about to publish an expose detailing the agency’s shoddy 2005 investigation.

The CPSC has not yet commented publicly on its investigation into Katelynn Simon’s death. But one consumer advocate told the Associated Press that the CPSC should move as quickly as possible to remove the faulty Simplicity 4-in-1 Bassinet from the market.

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