Recalled Fisher-Price and Kids II inclined sleepers, which have been linked to more than 50 infant deaths due to suffocation, are still being found in several daycare centers nationwide, according to Consumer Reports. The recall affected nearly 5 million Fisher-Price sleepers and prompted the subsequent recall in late April of nearly 700,000 similar inclined sleepers made by Kids II. The Fisher-Price recall had been widely reported and yet, consumers report that the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is still being used in daycare centers.
According to a new survey released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), and Kids in Danger, several daycare centers around the country don’t know about the inclined sleeper recalls. Of the 376 facilities that responded to the survey conducted between June 20 and July 10, one in 10 was still using the dangerous and defectively designed sleepers.
Children Still Exposed to Unsafe Products
Safety advocates say these findings are alarming given the danger these sleepers pose to infants. To date, Consumer Reports is aware of at least 53 infant deaths linked to inclined sleepers. This includes one death that occurred in a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper at a residential daycare facility in 2015 and two separate deaths that were newly reported in a lawsuit filed on July 12 against Fisher-Price and its parent company. Only 18 states have regulations banning recalled products in daycare centers. And PIRG’s survey shows that even in states that have these laws in place, daycare centers often remain in the dark when it comes to recalls.
Advocates also say that these findings point to a larger problem with recalls. It shows how difficult it can be to get the word out about a product recall. There is no question that the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the recalling company need to do more to ensure they are reaching all consumers who may be using the products.
In the case of the Rock ‘n Play sleeper recall, part of the problem was confusing messaging from CPSC and Fisher-Price. The company initially stated, incorrectly, that the product was safe if used with restraints for infants up to three months of age. But that was proved wrong by Consumer Reports, which pointed to a deeper design issue with the products – that infants were being suffocated to death even when they were strapped on their backs.
Protecting Our Children
If you have these products at home, it is critical that you stop using them right away. If your child goes to daycare, take the time to inspect your child’s daycare facility to ensure that the caregivers are not using these inclined sleepers. If your child has been injured as a result of these dangerous and defective products, you may be able to hold the product manufacturer and the daycare’s owner and/or operator accountable. An experienced product defect lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.