Author: Chian Kee | Date: 27 November 2013 | Please Comment!

You had one job Angelcare.

It turns out that poorly installed baby monitors that feature loose wiring between the cot and the monitor, within reach of the child, have the exact opposite effect to what was intended.  In light of some infant deaths, the first in 2004, Angelcare has recently issued a voluntary product recall of its “Movement Sensor” equipped baby monitors in the US and Canada.

So what happens if you were guilted into buying conscientiously acquired these all-the-bells-and-whistles monitors in Australia?  Well, it appears that the recall doesn’t extend to you.  According to (my number one source for baby-related misinformation) this is because:

“…units bought in Australia aren’t affected by the error.”

This is probably true, as long as by “error” you mean “calculated risk”.  Curiously, the owners of the Angelcare brand, when offering free cord covers, go so far as to say:

Do not be concerned as a correctly installed monitor poses no hazard to your baby!  We do, however, fully understand that you are concerned…”

It appears that the relevant versions of the monitors being sold in both North America and Australia all come equipped with baby-choking wires.  The difference is that Angelcare isn’t recalling the Australian versions (yet) and they don’t want you to panic in the interim.  I can appreciate the commercial imperative for this, after all these monitors aren’t cheap and there haven’t been any reported cases of Angelcare infant strangulation in Australia – but they might be treading on thin ice given that the Australian threshold for product recalls includes products that are dangerous due to reasonably foreseeable misuse.

It seems like a lot of trouble to try and continue to market a baby monitor sensor that wasn’t even effective at noticing cot deaths as it was causing them.  Don’t get me wrong, I am all for infant safety, but nothing annoys me more than products that were designed to capitalise on parental fear, rather than relieve it – mainly because I now own many such products.


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