Buy Buy Baby and Wal-Mart have joined online retailers like Amazon and eBay in banning the sale of infant inclined sleepers – even those that have not been recalled – from their stores and websites. According to Consumer Reports, the decision came after Amazon, eBay and two other smaller retailers announced that they would also ban these inclined sleepers that have been linked to the death of 73 infants.
All of these announcements follow a letter Consumer Reports sent out to 15 major retailers, online marketplaces and trade groups urging them to stop selling infant inclined sleepers, which put babies at an angle between 10 and 30 degrees. In April, Consumer Reports published an expose tying the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers and Kids II Rocking Sleeper to dozens of child deaths, which prompted the recall of about 5 million inclined sleepers.
Dangerous Products Remain on the Market
A study commissioned by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently concluded that the sleepers increase the risk of suffocation and are unsafe for infant sleep. Based on part on those findings, the CPSC warned consumers not to use any inclined sleeper and voted to move forward with a proposed rule to ban them. But, the fact remains that it will take months for any proposed rule to take effect, which means many more of these dangerous and defectively-designed products still remain on the market.
While it’s great news that these giant retailers have removed inclined sleepers from their inventories, it still won’t completely get rid of them. Manufacturers are still making these products. There are still businesses that have not committed to removing them from their shelves and websites including Craigslist, Facebook, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Magic Beans and Target.
Consumer Reports is reporting that several manufacturers plan to continue selling these products. For example, a spokesman for SUMR Brands told CR that while they have no plans to make more of their SwaddleMe By Your Head Sleeper, they will not recall the products.
Holding Manufacturers Accountable
It is appalling to note that manufacturers of these inclined sleepers are still selling them and are continuing to “stand by the safety” of their products when so many experts have warned the public not to purchase the product. The professional group has warned parents and caregivers to stay away from inclined sleepers because they increase the risk of infant suffocation.
As product defect attorneys, we stand behind Consumer Reports, which has really taken a leadership role on this issue, and strongly encourage manufacturers and retailers to stop making and selling these products that are clearly dangerous for infants.