Strollers recalled for amputation risk

36,000 Kolcraft models pulled from market

SAN ANTONIO - Strollers carry precious cargo. That's why baby Brooklyn Robinson's mom and dad shopped for months for a stroller that would not pinch her tiny fingers.

"I have two other kids, and we had that issue before, fingers getting pinched," said dad William Robinson.

While virtually any stroller can pinch, some are potentially very dangerous.

Kolcraft recalled 36,000 Contours Options strollers after three children's fingertips were amputated.  Several models of three and four-wheel strollers are included in the recall.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission also has reports of two adults whose fingers were smashed or cut.

The problem is with the hinge mechanism. A child's finger can get caught in the opening formed when locking or unlocking the hinge mechanism which is used to adjust the handlebars.

Consumer advocates urge parents to be careful using second-hand strollers. In recent years, several manufacturers including Graco and Maclaren have recalled millions of strollers for similar hazards.

In the past four years, the government has reports of 23 children's fingertips being amputated in strollers.

Incidents typically happen when the stroller is set up or collapsed.

"Children have a tendency to hold on the the stroller for balance, and if they are not away when you are doing that, there is potential to get fingers pinched," said Susan Douglass, child safety specialist with University Health System.

Another issue with older strollers is the size of the opening between the seat and the tray or bar.  If it is not at least eight inches, a baby who is not strapped in may have his head or neck trapped.

Very young children should always be strapped in strollers and never left unattended.

As for the recalled Kolcraft sold at Target, Toys R Us and for the past six years, parents should contact the manufacturer for a free repair kit.


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