Recall issued for twelve Kolcraft playpens

by Brooke Hart
NBC News

This morning's recall involves twelve playpen models all made by Kolcraft, and sold since 2001.

The main hazard is the changing table's restraint strap, hanging inside the playpen.

Officials received a report of a ten-month old boy who died by strangulation.

"There has been a death associated with one of these portable play yards, you should remove the loop safety strap immediately and get a new strap from Kolcraft," said Julie Vallese, Director of Public Affairs, Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC).

Kolcraft also received separate complaints, about children rolling to the side of a cradle on one model, in danger of suffocating.

This comes right on the heels of seven recalls due to surface paint that contains lead.

They include five toys from the popular Thomas and Friends train line, a puppet theater, gardening tools sold at Jo-Ann's and other gardening toy sets sold at Target.

In all some 600,000 products are off store shelves, including some jewelry sets, which officials say can be a big safety risk.
"We know that children mouth jewelry. So the risk of actual exposure, the hand to mouth or product to mouth exposure is much greater with a product like metal jewelry," said Julie Vallese.

The CPSC is under pressure to move fast on safety questions.

On Capitol Hill last week the CPSC's commissioner took heat over whether she has the resources to keep consumers safe.

"I would prefer to have more people," said Nancy Nord, CPSC Acting Commissioner.
Still, the agency insists it's up to the toymaker and importer to ensure safety.

They suggest the recalls are evidence America's safety net for consumers, is working.

Safety officials do say they are looking harder now for traces of lead paint on toys because there's recent proof of a problem, and they expect more recalls because of it.