WASHINGTON — A baby product manufacturer recalled on Friday about 447,000 of its infant car seat carriers, including some branded with Eddie Bauer and Disney logos, after dozens of reports of the carrier's handle coming loose.
There have been at least three injuries to babies, including bumps, bruises and a head injury. Dorel Juvenile Group Inc. of Columbus, Ind., received 77 reports of the child restraint handle fully or partially coming off the products.
In announcing the recall, the government said consumers should immediately stop using the seat's carrying handle. The bolts that attach the handle to the seat can loosen, causing the handle to possibly separate and creating a fall hazard for babies.
The recall involves Safety 1st, Cosco, Eddie Bauer and Disney branded infant car seat carriers with certain model numbers. They were sold at department and children's product stores nationwide from January 2008 through this month.
The recall was announced on Friday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Dorel Juvenile Group.
The traffic safety agency said consumers should not use the handle until a repair kit has been installed. The repair kit includes new screws that consumers can attach to the seat carriers. They can order these free repair kits by contacting Dorel at 866-762-3316 or visiting www.djgusa.com/ safety_notice.
"You don't want to take a chance by using this recalled car seat carrier until you have the repair kit in place," said Patty Davis, a spokeswoman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission. "The handle can fall off and the car seat carrier can drop, injuring your infant."
The traffic safety agency said the car seat is safe for use in a vehicle because it meets federal safety standards. The recalled products were sold with strollers, which are not affected by the recall.
Vinnie D'Alleva, general manager for Dorel Juvenile Group, said safety is the company's top priority and it is working closely with government agencies to get the word out to parents about the recall.
Officials from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration could not say when the government first received complaints about the car seat carriers, which were on the market for about two years.
The baby seat carriers were made in China from January 2008 to April 2009. About five months later, on Sept. 1, 2009, the traffic safety agency began a preliminary evaluation about the problems, according to a report that Dorel Juvenile Group sent to the agency on Thursday.
Dorel has recalled a number of products this year. Recent recalls include 28,350 Maxi-Cosi Mico infant seats and more than 131,000 units of Safety 1st SmartLight stair gates. This year, the company also recalled 76,600 Eddie Bauer Soothe & Sway play yards with rocking bassinets after reports that several babies had their faces pressed against the bassinets' sides or bottoms and one child turned blue.