Simplicity Aspen 4 in 1 Crib Baby Safety Issues

A warning to parents who have purchased, or plan to purchase a Simplicity Aspen 4-in-1 crib.

On May 16, my ten month old daughter was almost strangulated to death on her Simplicity Aspen crib. It was early in the morning and my 3 year old son and I were still snoozing away. I felt him start to stir and I knew he was fixing to be up for the day. He got up and took off to the living room, so I got up out of bed. In the process of doing so, he came running back to me saying “sister is stuck, sister is hurt!” I started to walk to her room, but noticed that I heard no crying. Upon entering her room, I didn’t see her at first. I remember thinking “where is she?” Then I noticed the mattress slightly elevated towards the middle of the crib. I still couldn’t hear any crying. I ran to her crib, threw the mattress up and was horrified at what I saw. My baby girl’s neck was trapped between the metal mattress support slats. Her arms were to her side, essentially preventing her from moving her body at all. Her face was beat red and her voice completely hoarse from crying for so long, and so hard. At this point, I could definitely hear her screaming, but I can only assume the mattress being on top of her is what muffled her cries. I reached down, pushed her head to the side, then down through the metal slats and pulled her out from underneath the crib. She had some dark red lines where the metal slats had been pressing into her neck. I ran to the living room and called my husband.

After talking to my husband and calming down, I called Simplicity. (the manufacturer of the crib) I demanded they send a replacement crib and pay us back the value of the crib. They offered to send us back the retail value (approx. 120.00) and a box to send her crib back in for investigation. They assured me that this wasn’t “a problem with their product as a whole, but only with our crib.” They also suggested that perhaps it was my fault, as maybe she was too big or too small for this particular crib. They then suggested the crib mattress wasn’t “up to government regulations.” After hanging up with Simplicity, I called our local news station to get information on whom consumers can rely on when things like this happen. I was referred to the website www.cpsc.gov where consumers can make claims on unsafe products. I immediately called them and relayed the morning’s events.

Within two hours, the news station had called me back, requesting permission to do an interview over the crib and the incident. I of course said yes, as I wanted all parents to know what had happened to us. They came to our house and did a fantastic job on portraying the true defect in the Simplicity crib. Even if only one life was saved from that news story, it was worthwhile.

In January 2006, Simplicity Aspen 3-in-1 cribs were recalled when the wooden mattress support slats loosened and a child was able to fall between the foot board and mattress and suffocate. Once the cribs were placed on the recall list, consumers were able to receive a retrofit kit from Simplicity to “fix” the problem. After the terrible loss of that child, Simplicity decided to “upgrade” the crib and replaced the wooden support slats with metal support slats. However, they are still spaced more than 3 inches apart, perfectly capable of entrapping a small child. Rather than change the entire design of the unsafe crib, Simplicity took the easy way out and changed from wood to metal, however, the fact remains; they are unsafe for children of any age.

The U.S. standards for cribs are required to insure the safety of your child. One such regulation is that the crib slats cannot be more than 2 and 3/8 inches apart. While I understand most people never consider the mattress support mechanism as a “slat,” it really is just that. If the U.S. Government requires these specifications to insure their safety, shouldn’t the manufacturer do everything in their power to prevent accidents?

We are very lucky in that our daughter is seemingly okay. As far as we can tell, no permanent damage has been done. (however, it can sometimes take months for apparent problems to arise) If you own a Simplicity crib, or know someone that does, I urge you to reconsider owning this particular crib. As consumers and parents, we are required to take a stand for the health and wellness of our children. Do not let your child become a victim.

You can acquire contact information from:
www.simplicityforchildren.com
Or call: 1-800-858-8323

As always, you can get the latest recall updates at www.cpsc.gov

Standard guidelines on all Full-Size cribs include, but are not limited to:

– No missing, loose or broken screws
– No corner posts over 1/16 inch high
– No cutouts in the head-board or foot-board
– Slats should not be more than 2 3/8 inch wide

Please spread the word on the unsafe natured and faulty design of this crib. It is important that the public is aware of the obvious danger of this product.