About 2.2 million bean bag chairs, made by Ace Bayou Corporation, are being recalled after two children were able to crawl inside, leading to their suffocation deaths. The chairs are made with zippers, which are easily opened by curious youngsters. A 13-year-old boy from McKinney, Texas, and a 3-year-old girl from Lexington, Kentucky, were found dead inside the chairs after they suffocated from a lack of air and inhaled the chair’s foam beads.
Significantly, the industry “voluntary” standard requires non-refillable bean bag chairs to have closed and permanently disabled zippers, to prevent such tragedies from occurring. Tragically and inexplicably, the standard was ignored by this manufacturer.
The chairs were sold at Bon-Ton, Meijer, Pamida, School Specialty, Wayfair and Walmart stores and online at Amazon.com, Meijer.com and Walmart.com. They cost between $30 and $100 and were sold before July 2013. They come in all different colors, shapes, fabrics and sizes.
Suffocation hazards presented by children’s products, as well as products made for homes and schools where young children are expected to be living and plating, account for numerous deaths and injuries each year. A dangerous beanbag chair, or other furniture items such as cribs and juvenile beds, may have been poorly manufactured or designed, misleadingly advertised, inaccurately labeled, or irresponsibly sold to or for children, many of whom are too young to appreciate the toy’s hazards.
Parents and caregivers – please carefully inspect any such items prior to purchasing. Do not assume that because a product reaches retail shelves, it is necessarily safe. This example highlights that safety standards are not always followed by manufacturers.