Page last updated at 20:44 GMT, Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Maclaren will probe buggy claims

By Anna Adams
Interactive reporter, BBC News

Maclaren buggy
Parents have contacted the BBC with concerns about the buggies

Pushchair maker Maclaren has agreed to investigate new claims that children have been injured by its products.

The British company recalled one million pushchairs in the US after 12 cases of children slicing off their fingertips in the hinges of buggies.

Maclaren said it would not do the same in the UK because there was less concern in this country and Trading Standards had recorded just one case.

But many parents have come forward to the BBC reporting similar experiences.

Faye Roast's daughter Gracie lost the pad of her finger when it was trapped in the hinges last year.

'Pinched off'

The mother-of-two from Bedfordshire said she felt so guilty about what happened that she didn't contact Maclaren.

She said: "I was putting the buggy up and when it clicked. Gracie screamed and I realised that she'd caught her finger.

"I didn't realise how badly injured she was though and we had to take her to hospital as she's lost all the flesh on her finger tip. It was quite literally pinched off.

"She still hasn't got a fingerprint and her nail won't grow back properly."

She added: "Parents do have a responsibility to take care but at the same time you expect a company like Maclaren to make sure that any problems they are aware of are passed on to the consumer. If US parents are protected we should be too."

Injury reports

Hundreds of people contacted the BBC about Maclaren, some of which said their children had also lost their fingertips.

Maclaren has voluntarily launched a recall of all its single and double umbrella pushchairs in the US, including the popular Volo and Techno products.

Patty Davis of the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the US said it had received a total of 15 reports of injuries to children's fingers, including 12 amputations.

Maclaren USA is providing customers with a kit to cover the "elbow joint" on the hinge mechanism.

The Northamptonshire-based company decided not to recall the products in the UK after consultation with trading standards officials.

Industry experts

The firm said its products complied with European safety legislation and that the risk of injury was "non-existent" if consumers followed instructions for their use.

Maclaren has appointed a private PR consultancy to help deal with the enquiries.

A spokesperson refused to say whether the company had received any more complaints but said it would look at these new cases on an individual basis.

He would not discuss whether there were any plans to recall buggies in the UK.

He added: "Our position has not changed. This is an industry-wide problem and doesn't just involve Maclaren. The company has been holding talks with industry experts."

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