May 7, 2011
After finding that phil&teds metoo clip-on tabletop chairs could cause serious injuries to children and the maker refusing to recall this dangerous product, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a release warning parents of the danger and pleading with parents to discontinue its use.
“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns consumers that some “metoo” clip-on table top chairs, imported by phil&teds USA Inc., of Fort Collins, CO., put young children at risk of serious injury due to multiple safety hazards,” the release said. “CPSC is urging consumers to stop using some metoo clip-on chairs immediately.”
The phil&teds metoo clip-on tabletop chair is a metal frame with a nylon fabric seat, sold in red, black and navy colors, that attaches to the edge of a tabletop using two metal vise clamps.
Parents should be aware that metoo clip-on tabletop chairs subject to this warning are those without plastic spacers between the table clamps and the front horizontal metal bar and that the CPSC is still evaluating products that have the plastic spacer.
These metoo clip-on tabletop chairs are intended for use with infants and toddlers. However, they pose significant danger to children from fall and amputation hazards. Staff at the CPSC determined the chair’s clamps may detach from a variety of different table surfaces, sometimes when children are just being children and moving around or kick their feet out.
The Associated Press reports that about a dozen children have suffered injuries from this product.
The CPSC also found there is inadequate space between the horizontal bar and the metal clamps. If the child’s fingers were caught between the bar and the clamp when the chair detaches, it could cause severe pinching, laceration, crushing or amputation injuries to the child’s fingers.
While phil&teds has proposed a repair kit to remedy the hazard, the CPSC does not feel it is adequate.
“The company has refused to agree to a national recall of their hazardous product that is acceptable to CPSC,” the agency said. “The company has offered a repair kit consisting of rubber boots to place on the upper clamp grips of the chairs. Consumers should be aware that CPSC has not approved a repair kit for this product, despite the firm’s prior statement that it was conducting a recall “in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.”
In addition to defects in design that make these phil&teds metoo clip-on tabletop chairs dangerous, the CPSC says marketing defects also pose a danger. The product packaging and marketing information show the product used in ways that could cause the chair’s clamps to detach from the table and the instructions included with the product do not adequately warn against this type of use.
Phil&teds is a major retailer of children’s products.
According to the CPSC, retailers phil&teds.com, Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Target, Toys R Us and other retailers and juvenile specialty stores sold tens of thousands of defective phil&teds metoo clip-on tabletop chairs since May 2006 for about $50. In fact, because the phil&teds has not issued a recall, this dangerous product is still widely available for purchase today and consumers may be unaware of the dangers.