Warning to all Phil & Ted Metoo high chair owners!

The CPSC has issued an alert to consumers about Phil & Ted’s Metoo clip-on high chair.  This recall affects all Metoo chairs that do not have plastic spacers between the table clamps and the front horizontal metal bar.

CPSC is urging consumers to stop using the affected metoo chairs at this time in order to prevent the risk of injury to children.

The affected metoo chairs pose serious fall and amputation hazards to children placed in them. Children can suffer impact and head injuries when the chair detaches from the table and falls with them in it. CPSC staff is aware of numerous incidents involving the affected metoo chairs.

CPSC staff has determined that the clamps can detach from a variety of different table surfaces. Additionally, the chairs can detach when children move around or use their feet to push against other objects. Staff also determined that the lack of adequate space between the horizontal metal bar at the front of the chair and the clamps can cause children’s fingers to be severely pinched, lacerated, crushed or amputated if caught between the bar and the clamp when the chair detaches.

In addition to hazards with the affected clip-on chairs, the product packaging and instructions provide conflicting information. The product’s packaging and marketing information show the product being used in ways that may lead to the chair detaching from the table. However, the product’s instructions do not adequately warn against this type of use.

Go to the CPSC for more information including pictures and a video.

*UPDATE (May 10, 2011):  We have updated phil&teds response to the most current response. It seems like our previous post didn’t contain the latest response.

Phil & Ted’s have a different opinion on the subject:

 Metoo update – Media release

phil&teds expressed surprise at the release by the CPSC of a use warning for their version 1(manufactured prior to March 2010) metoo clip-on highchair. Since before announcing in February a worldwide voluntary upgrade of the metoo – approved by all worldwide product safety authorities except the CPSC – the company has cooperated fully, and worked diligently, with the CPSC to reach agreement on a recall to repair that is acceptable to the CPSC. It will continue to do so in the best interests of metoo users.

In the meantime, to ensure absolute clarity for metoo users, the company would like to restate the background and details of the upgrade, the nature of reported incidents, and current actions:

Since the beginning of this year the Company’s U.S. distributor, phil&teds, USA Inc., after voluntarily reporting its proposed Fast Track fix, worked with the CPSC to approve replacement parts. Thereafter the manufacturer worked with regulators around the world to do likewise. The U.S. Distributor had reported that there had been a small number of US incidents (out of several hundred thousand units sold globally) where a metoo detached from a table. Two of these incidents resulted in Injury.

Damaged product, where rubber grip pads were missing was a contributing factor in some of the incidents, as was poor connec­tion to the table surface. Anecdotally, this may have been caused by consumers not tightening clamps tightly enough for fear of table damage. As a result phil&teds made available, to all users worldwide, a simple add-on kit consisting of rubberised table clamp socks that reduce the propensity for some users to inadequately attach a metoo and make it obvious if this part is missing or damaged.

There are only two versions of metoo chairs: the pre March 2010 version and the post March 2010 version (both of which meet ASTM and Company dynamic performance requirements). This action involves ONLY product manufactured pre March 2010, which can be distinguished by the exposed aluminum table top clamps. Version 2 metoos can be distinguished by the presence, out of the box, of rubberized ‘socks’, and black plastic ‘spacers’ on the table top clamps (See pictures below).

If a chair is securely attached per the instructions (appropriate table, and with the clamps fully tightened) the metoo chair functions as intended.

Here is also a video released by phil&teds of the correct use of the metoo:

[youtube]rUwCrxVhoXI&[/youtube]

Contrary to comments made in the CPSC release, phil&teds has sought CPSC approval of a recall to repair kit where the ‘socks’ were to be included as part of the replacement kit and will continue to work to secure their approval of replacement parts in the U.S. For any further information please contact email uscare@philandteds.com or call (877) 432-1641.

This is an important reminder to everyone to read a product’s instructions before use.  Products are safest when used as intended.  Most mothers are pretty tired of reading recalls to only find out it’s more about other parent’s not using a product correctly.  However on this issue it seems even if clamping is done correctly the CPSC is worried about amputation which Phil & Ted have not addressed on their website.

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Melissa Jarotkiewicz, Editor Melissa received a BS degree in Civil Engineering and is the proud stay at home mother of thing 1 and thing 2. Being the wife of an Air Force pilot means being the only parent for days, weeks and even months at a time. This chaotic and unpredictable life of a military mom calls for some serious retail therapy and Melissa puts her focus on baby gear and unfortunately for her husband the deal-a-day baby sites. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Melissa has lived in FL, OK, WA and just recently moved to Germany. She enjoys spending time with friends and family and watching college football in the fall. Go Irish!

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2 Comments on "Warning to all Phil & Ted Metoo high chair owners!"

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Matt
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If there are any doubts about the potential for harm in this chair please have a look at this photo of my daughter’s finger after an incident with this chair. http://s1184.photobucket.com/albums/z322/mhgjunk/ We informed Phil & Ted about this incident in October 2009 the day after our visit to the emergency room. It is shameful they have not accepted a recall. It is more shameful that they consciously created the misleading video posted in this article. Lisa – the company wants you to believe it is user error, but the product is dangerous by design. Had your child’s finger been around… Read more »
Liza
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We’ve used the “old” metoo for a few years, and when my now-3.5 year old was about 1, he kicked hard and one clamp slid off the counter surface, turning the whole mess upside-down. The other clamp held on, and thank goodness he was strapped in or we would have had a serious splat. It took me a couple seconds to get to him, hanging upside down from the straps looking shocked! He was fine – cried a bit. It did not occur to me to contact the company or the CSPC, I chalked it up to “user error” and… Read more »
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