This past weekend, based on reports of two babies being strangled to death, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Summer Infant Inc., announced a voluntary recall of approximately 1.7 million video baby monitors with electrical cords.
Not a new problem
This issue isn't unique to Summer Infant. The CPSC has seen six reports of deaths relating to baby monitor cords since 2004. Summer Infant's action to provide cord warning labels (think of the ones you see for hair dryers that tell you about electrocution if you come into contact with water) and to create the Safe Sleep Installation Guide , which shows consumers how to properly mount the camera on the wall, is meant to heighten consumer awareness of the risk.
In the two deaths related to the Summer Infant video monitors, neither were installed safely; in one case, the monitor's camera was placed on the crib rail and in the other, it was placed on an adjoining changing table. The CPSC recall notice urges that parents check the location of their video monitors and all electric cords to make sure the cords are unavailable to children since any household cord can pose a threat as the 2009 death of Mike Tyson's 4-year-old daughter proves -- she was found strangled by a treadmill cord.
No cord is safe
It's worth saying again: Any cord can pose a strangulation risk. Ultimately it is parents' responsibility to ensure their child's safety when it comes to household cords. If you have a small child in your house, follow this advice of the CPSC:
For more CPSC advice (including what to do about movement monitor cords), you can download the baby monitor cord safety notice as a pdf.