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.
Infant Swings/ Lead Paint
Infant swings are units consisting of a frame and a mechanically powered device that allows the infant to swing in a securely restrained seat. Many parents and child care givers have found that infant swings are an excellent way to help keep a baby occupied and happy, and even lull them to sleep. The design of infant and baby swings has greatly improved over the years to include lights, sounds and mobiles to entertain the infant. Today’s infant swings are also available in a number of portable varieties to allow for easy transport.
Lead Content in Infant Swings
The use of lead in paint was banned in the United States in 1978. Many overseas manufacturers still use lead paint in the surface coatings of many children’s products, including infant swings. A large amount of children’s products are manufactured overseas in countries such as China, Japan, or Turkey. Government regulations state that any product designed for children containing more than 0.06 percent lead content exceeds safety standards. Any children’s product containing a percentage of lead content above government regulations faces recall of the product.
Lead is commonly used in plastics as well as paint. The metal has the ability to soften plastic, allowing for flexibility in a product. Infant swings with plastic attachments may contain a level of lead content as a result. Though lead paint was banned in the United States, the use of lead in plastics was not. Regardless of the U.S. use of lead in plastics, government regulations still dictate that any item or product intended for children that possesses a lead content above 0.03 percent is subject to recall.
Risks of Lead Content in Infant Swings
Young children under the age of 6 years old are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning. Infant swings manufactured overseas may contain lead paint, which can cause severe health and neurological problems in infants and young children. Exposure to lead paint could even result in death due to acute lead poisoning.
Disorders Associated with High Levels of Lead Content
High contents of lead may accumulate over a number of years in children, making it difficult to attain exact statistics related to disorders associated with exposure to lead. In addition, a child may not exhibit any immediate symptoms or signs of lead poisoning. While it is difficult to compile direct statistics related to neurological or behavioral problems resulting from exposure to lead, studies have determined that there is a direct link between high levels of lead content in the bloodstreams of children and the onset of disorders such as ADHD, learning and behavioral problems, brain defects, and a number of other nervous and neurological disorders and other health problems.
Death Related to Lead Poisoning
Acute lead poisoning in a child could result in death. In March 2006, the death of a 4-year old girl was reported in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The cause of death was determined to be acute lead poisoning as a result of swallowing a heart-shaped charm attached to a bracelet that had been given away by Reebok with the purchase of a pair of Reebok shoes. The CPSC and Reebok immediately announced a recall on more than 3,000 charm bracelets that had been distributed during the promotion.
Example of Infant Swings with High Levels of Lead Content
Disney Deluxe Winnie-the-Pooh 23 Piece Play Sets
J.C. Penney recalled approximately 49,000 units of this play set because surface paints on items contained in the play sets exceeded government regulations for lead content percentages in children’s products. The play sets were imported by J.C. Penney of Plano, Texas, and were manufactured in China. Included in the 23- piece play set was an infant swing. The set was sold through the J.C. Penney Catalog, outlet stores across the nation, and the J.C. Penney Web site from August 2005 to August 2007.