Kennedy was killed when she got her neck caught in a gap between the metal support and mattress of her bassinet. She was six months old.
Submitted by her mother
In August 2008, six month old Kennedy slept in her Winnie the Pooh bassinet; her family was in the living room, only seconds away. But not even a cry could be heard as Kennedy’s neck got caught between a metal support and the mattress.
The bassinet was designed with a fabric cover over a metal frame. The cover could be removed from part of the frame to allow it to convert to a bedside sleeper – a lowered section allowed easier access to the baby. But the fabric could remain loose or create a pocket between the widely spaced metal bars, entrapping an infant.
After Kennedy’s death, her family went online to check if the bassinet, made by Simplicity for Children, Inc. had been recalled. They found, to their surprise, that 4-month-old Katelyn Simon had died in the same bassinet the previous September, but that the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) had never issued a recall.
Soon after Kennedy’s death, CPSC finally acted. Unfortunately, all they could do was issue a safety alert, not a recall. SFCA Inc., the company that acquired Simplicity’s assets following their bankruptcy, denied responsibility for the product and would not agree to a voluntary recall. Retailers stepped up to refund customers for the dangerous product.
“Kennedy was the most perfect baby girl. She was a happy baby and always smiling, bringing joy to everyone. Kennedy was a healthy child, who was progressing developmentally, but was a little behind due to being born premature. It is very difficult to put into words how our family is coping. Kennedy meant the world to us. She was a precious gift from God, whose time with us was too short. We miss her dearly. A parent’s worst nightmare — having to give your child back to God; and that is why we pushed for an official nationwide recall of the bassinet. Our mission is to not let another child and family suffer a loss of life in this dangerous product. Kennedy is forever our Angel.”
Just last August, around the anniversary of Kennedy’s death, CPSC issued a “re-announcement” of the Simplicity Bassinet warning. They had found that two more infants had died since Kennedy’s passing.