Summer Infant has announced a recall of 1.7 million video baby monitors after two babies were tragically strangled to death by the monitor’s cords. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also reports that another baby was almost killed.
Here is what I can’t figure out: the deaths happened in the fall. The CPSC did not learn until January that the six-month-old South Carolina boy who died had a Summer Infant video monitor. Really? It took that long. What about the little girl in Washington, D.C.? This article does not say when the dots for her were connected. I don’t know. Either the CPSC is slow on the draw or the media is not getting the full story. But the CPSC issued a warning months ago that baby monitor cords are a potential danger and have caused at least six deaths. So they knew this was on their plate. We need to figure it out, not to assign blame, but to figure out how we can do better next time.
Exactly what happened? Again, I could not find a lot of details. Apparently, the camera monitor was on the top of the crib rail for the little girl in Washington, D.C. and on a changing table attached to the crib for the boy in South Carolina. In the near death case, a toddler in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was almost strangled even though the camera was mounted on a wall.
Details really matter here. Because if you have small kids, you realize that there is a world of risk out there. You can’t avoid it. But you can do a lot to try and push that risk as close to zero as you can. Which is why I process these reports from a “what would I do” perspective. Will mounting the monitor on the wall be the safe play? No, not according to this Pittsburgh case. If you are a parent of small children, you are having an internal dialogue about these types of issues every single day.