WASHINGTON - Tens of thousands of tabletop feeding chairs for babies and toddlers were recalled Wednesday after reports that they can come loose and send children plummeting to the floor.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission says certain versions of the "metoo" clip-on chairs imported by Colorado-based phil&teds USA Inc., can unexpectedly detach from a table, sending the chair and possibly the child to the floor.
The company and CPSC have received 19 reports of the chairs falling from table surfaces, including five reports with injuries.
Two of the injuries involved crushed fingers or serious cuts, according to the commission. The three others involved bruising after a chair detached suddenly and a child struck the table or floor.
About 54,000 of the chairs are being recalled.
The recall follows a warning from the commission in May that the chairs were not safe. At the time, the commission said the company refused to agree to a national recall that was acceptable to the agency.
"We finally have a joint agreement where phil&teds will provide a repair kit that will make the 'metoo' clip-on chairs safe for children to use," said CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson. "The hazard and injuries that have occurred with these clip-on chairs are serious, so we encourage parents to not use the product until it is repaired."
Jason Crowe, president of phil&teds USA, said his company first called the commission in October 2010 to voluntarily report a few problems consumers had experienced with the chair. He said hundreds of thousands of the chairs have been sold worldwide with a small number of reported injuries. Still, he said, the injuries are a concern to the company.
"We're glad to finally have a fix," Crowe told The Associated Press. "Our number one focus is consumer safety."
The company is providing consumers who have the recalled chairs with new rubber grips that cover the metal clamps to better fasten the chair to a table as well as plastic spacers to help prevent finger injuries should the chair come loose during use on a tabletop.
The chairs were sold at Buy Buy Baby, Target, Toys R Us, as well as philandteds.com, Amazon.com and other online retailers between May 2006 and May 2011.