The monitors include not just the usual unit that transmits sound but also a sensor pad that monitors the baby's movements, which is connected to the nursery monitor unit by a roughly 3.4-metre long electrical cord.
"The cord attached to the baby monitor's sensor pad is placed under the crib mattress, which poses a strangulation risk if the child pulls the cord into the crib and it becomes wrapped around the neck," the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday in a press release.
There have been two reported cord strangulation deaths connected to the monitors: a 13-month-old died in San Diego in 2011 and an eight-month-old died in Salem, Ore., in 2004.
"In both fatalities, the cord from the sensor pads was pulled into the crib by the infant," the CPSC said.
There have also been two non-fatal incidents reported in which infants became entangled in either the sensor pad cord or the monitor cord, the CPSC said.
Health Canada said it has not received any reports of incidents or injuries related to the use of the monitors in Canada.
Company providing repair kits
The recall affects all models of Angelcare's movement and sound monitors sold from 2003 to November 2013 in Canada and from 1999 to September 2013 in the U.S.
It includes model numbers AC1100, AC201, AC300, AC301, AC401, AC601 and 49255 that did not come with rigid cord covers. The model number is located on the back of the nursery monitor unit.
The monitors were manufactured in China and sold at various Canadian and U.S. retailers, including Babies R Us/Toys R Us, Burlington Coat Factory, Meijer, Sears, Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, Target.com, Overstock.com and nearly 70 small baby specialty stores.
About 182,173 were sold in Canada and about 600,000 in the U.S.
They were priced at about $100 US to $300 US.
To remedy the strangulation risk, the company, which is based in Brossard, Que., is offering consumers a repair kit that includes rigid protective cord covers through which the sensor pad cords can be threaded; a new, permanent electric cord warning label about the strangulation risk; and revised instructions. In the meantime, cords should be placed out of reach of the child.
Consumers can contact Angelcare toll-free at (855) 355-2643 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or order the repair kit on the firm's website www.angelcarebaby.com — although the site appeared to be down Thursday afternoon.