On May 6th, 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning to consumers that some “metoo” clip-on table top chairs, imported by phil&teds USA Inc., of Fort Collins, Colo. put young children at risk of serious injury due to multiple safety hazards.
What do you need to know about this Safety Warning?
Even though the company has refused to officially issue a National Recall, the CPSC is urging consumers to stop using some metoo clip-on chairs immediately.
The product is an infant/toddler chair with a nylon fabric seat and a metal frame that clamps onto tables using two metal vise clamps. The upper part of each clamp rests on the table top and has either a rubber clamp pad on its underside or a rubber boot covering it. The chair is sold in three fabric colors – red, black and navy.
The clip-on chairs affected by this warning do not have plastic spacers between the table clamps and the front horizontal metal bar. The clip-on chairs that have plastic spacers between the table clamps and the front horizontal metal bar are under evaluation.
The company has refused to agree to a national recall of their hazardous product that is acceptable to CPSC. The company has offered a repair kit consisting of rubber boots to place on the upper clamp grips of the chairs, but consumers should be aware that CPSC has not approved a repair kit for this product, despite the firm’s prior statement that it was conducting a recall “in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
What should you do if you own this product?
The CPSC is urging consumers to stop using the affected metoo chairs at this time in order to prevent the risk of injury to children.
The affected metoo chairs pose serious fall and amputation hazards to children placed in them. Children can suffer impact and head injuries when the chair detaches from the table and falls with them in it. CPSC staff is aware of numerous incidents involving the affected metoo chairs.
CPSC staff has determined that the clamps can detach from a variety of different table surfaces. Additionally, the chairs can detach when children move around or use their feet to push against other objects. Staff also determined that the lack of adequate space between the horizontal metal bar at the front of the chair and the clamps can cause children’s fingers to be severely pinched, lacerated, crushed or amputated if caught between the bar and the clamp when the chair detaches.
In addition to hazards with the affected clip-on chairs, the product packaging and instructions provide conflicting information. The product’s packaging and marketing information show the product being used in ways that may lead to the chair detaching from the table. However, the product’s instructions do not adequately warn against this type of use.
Tens of thousands of the affected metoo chairs may have been distributed since May 2006 for about $50 through philandteds.com, Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Target, Toys R Us, other online retailers and a variety of independent juvenile specialty stores.
Additional information, along with a video demonstrating the potential hazards, can be found at the CPSC website.