One death and two cases of serious injury have prompted the recall of Banzai Falls inflatable pool slides sold at Walmart and Toys R Us.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that both retailers Walmart and Toys R Us are recalling the Banzai Falls In-Ground Pool Slide in cooperation with the agency because of risks of serious injury and death associated with the product.
The recall affects about 21,000 Banzai pool slides. Walmart and Toys R Us sold these Banzai pool slides in their stores across the U.S. and online from January 2005 through June 2009 for about $250.
According to a release by the CPSC, the slide poses a fall hazard because it is unstable and can topple over with or without windy conditions present. Users of the Banzai pool slide can also sustain serious bodily injury or death from impact with the ground caused by deflation of the slide during use.
Robin Aleo, a 29-year-old mother from Colorado, died in July 2006 after using a Banzai pool slide at the home of relatives in Andover, MA, according to the Eagle-Tribune. The Banzai pool slide bought from Toys R Us was in use over the side of a concrete pool and Aleo slid head first down the slide when deflation of the slide caused her to strike her head on the edge of the pool as she came to the bottom. People present at the party pulled an unconscious Aleo from the pool. However, she died the following day having suffered a broken neck, which caused her to be paralyzed and unable to breathe.
The CPSC is aware of two similar instances involving Banzai slides that deflated during use.
On June 9, 2006, just seven weeks before Aleo died, 24-year-old Mark Grantham became a quadriplegic after hitting his head sliding down a Banzai pool slide bought from Walmart.
A woman from Allentown, PA also suffered a fractured neck related to this product.
The recall is the result of the CPSC investigation into these three cases and comes nearly six years after Grantham’s injury with a Banzai pool slide.
Other injuries or deaths involving Banzai pool slides may have gone unreported. CPSC spokesperson Alex Filip told MSNBC that it is common for more people to come forward after the announcement of a recall, that they may have attributed the failure of a product to poor maintenance or something they did wrong.
Consumers can identify the Banzai Falls In-Ground Pool Slide by the blue base and arch over the top, yellow slide and the words “Banzai Splash” printed on each side of the slide. The product is intended for use with in-ground pools. While the original slide packaging has the barcode 2675315734 and model number 15734, these do not appear on the slide itself.
The CPSC warns consumers to stop using these recalled Banzai slides. They can obtain a full refund by returning the entire slide or cutting out the two yellow safety notices near the bottom of the slide and presenting them at their nearest Walmart or Toys R Us retailer. Consumers can call Walmart (800) 925-6278 or Toys R Us (800) 869-7787 for more information.