Infant Swings

An infant swing is a device with a frame and a powered unit, allowing an infant to swing. It is often used to keep a baby or young child occupied, or to put them to sleep. Many infant swings available today include mobiles, attached toys, or lights and sounds in an effort to keep the child entertained and occupied. In recent years, a number of portable models have emerged on the market as well.

Possible Defects of Infant Swings

Issues with infant swings have involved unfastened screws on the swing’s arm support which triggered the seat to separate and fall to one side, seats that were not connected properly, unsecure swing frames, frames or seats with sharp edges, harnesses that could entangle a young child, and dangerous toys. A particular recalled model could be easily disassembled, resulting in a loose seat that flipped frontward.

Dangers of Faulty Infant Swings

Issues with recalled seats and swings may cause infants to become trapped, tumble or endure additional severe accidental injuries. Unsafe infant swings may cause a number of accidental injuries, ranging from bumps and bruises to entrapment and even strangulation.

Injury and Death Statistics Related to Faulty Infant Swings

  • 1,600 estimated injuries related to portable swings were reported to the CPSC in 2008.
  • Two deaths between 2004 and 2006 were connected to portable infant swings.
  • In 2005, there were an estimated 1, 800 portable infant swing-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms.
  • A recall on Lil’ Napper infant swings followed the report of one near strangulation and 3 deaths resulting from entanglement in the shoulder straps. After the recall, a fourth death of an 8- month old girl was reported in Texas.
  • In 2000, Graco Children’s Products Inc., of Elverson, Pennsylvania announced that it was providing new safety restraints for approximately 7 million infant swings manufactured by Century before November 1997, after the report of six infant deaths. Of the 209 incidents reported to Graco Children’s Products, 181 were infant falls from the swing because of faulty restraints. In nine of the reports, serious injuries including concussions and bone fractures were recorded. Twenty- two of these reports were infants entangled in the restraint straps.

Examples of Defective Infant Swings

Some examples of infant swings that were recalled due to a failure to meet quality standards or reports of injury or death include:

  • About 112,000 units of the Portable Rainforest Open Top Take-Along Swing were recalled in May 2007 after Fisher-Price received 60 reports of infant entrapments. It was reported that infants could easily shift to one side and become trapped between the seat and frame. Injuries included bumps, bruises, red marks, and cuts. The portable swings included a palm tree mobile with two attached hanging toys. Models included in the recall include K7203, K7195, and K7203. These numbers can be found under the handle on the right side of the swing. The infant swings were manufactured in China and imported by Fisher Price. These portable swings were sold at toy stores and discount department stores from November 2006 to May 2007 nationwide.
  • In November 2002, Baby Trend Inc., of Ontario, California, announced a recall to repair approximately 15,000 infant swings that were sold at Toys R Us stores across the nation from November 2001 through September 2002. Ten reports were received of a screw located on the support arm loosening or detaching. This caused the seat to drop to one side, presenting a fall hazard. The recall included “Trend Swing” stationary infant swings. The model numbers included 8711 and 8722. A label with the model number is located on the bottom of the infant swing seat. These swings also included a toy bar, timer, and song player. The infant swing was manufactured in China and was sold in navy/white plaid or khaki gingham. The tray on the seat reads “Baby Trend.” In addition, the words “Trend Swing” are located on the arm. The Graco Children’s Products Inc. recall of the restraints on 7 million infant swings in 2000 occurred after the reported death of six infants. A number of injuries and accidents were also reported as either a result of a child falling from the swing or becoming entangled in the straps. Faulty restraints located on the infant swing seats were the primary defect associated with these swings. Graco offered a new replacement restraint kit that could be easily installed. The recalled Graco infant swings were wind-up or battery powered models with either an open top design or an A-frame. Some included removable seats that doubled as an infant carrier. The swings were sold at discount, children’s products, and merchandise stores nationwide through January 1998.

Resources

  1. http://www.recalls.gov/
  2. http://cpsc.gov/
  3. http://yosemite.epa.gov/ochp/ochpweb.nsf/content/news2.htm#recalls