Strollers will have safety kits

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 12:00am

Maclaren (HK) will provide safety kits to owners of strollers worried that the stroller's hinge could cut off children's fingertips, the company said yesterday.

Maclaren has recalled about a million strollers in the United States, after it received reports that 12 children had had their fingertips cut off by the hinge.

Yesterday, the managing director of Maclaren (HK), Sam Mcquigg, stressed that its voluntary recall in the US did not mean the company was replacing the product or giving refunds. Rather, the firm intended to alert the public to the risk.

Mcquigg insisted that the company's strollers met or exceeded safety standards, provided that owners follow instructions correctly. Maclaren sells a few thousand strollers in Hong Kong annually.

Mcquigg said that the repair kit given to owners in the US was really an enhancement kit because no actual repair was required.

The kit is essentially a cover that is attached to the stroller with a strong elastic band. It covers the hinge in which children's fingers were caught in the US. Once it is attached, it stays on the stroller and does not have to be removed when opening or folding the stroller.

Maclaren has also updated the operating instructions and placed a warning label on the buggy to ensure that owners keep children away when it is being folded or unfolded.

Although the models sold in Hong Kong are identical to those sold in the US, Mcquigg said there had been no reported cases of the hinge cutting off fingertips in the city.

This was confirmed by a spokeswoman from the Consumer Council, who said that the supply of free kits to owners in Hong Kong was acceptable.

The kits come free from Maclaren (HK) and will be available at retailers from tomorrow. The kit will not come standard on strollers sold in the future but will be available to new owners on request.

A spokeswoman for the Customs and Excise Department, which regulates product safety, said that a stroller had been taken for testing. The tests would take another two to three days to complete.

Lee Kaka, owner of a Maclaren stroller, said that it was only sensible to keep a child away while opening or folding the stroller. She nevertheless intended to obtain the enhancement kit as a safety measure.