A report in The New York Times drew attention to the fact that inclined child sleepers still being used in daycare programs despite being recalled all across the country. In April 2019, Fisher-Price voluntarily recalled 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play inclined child sleepers after a Consumer Reports investigation linked the popular product to more than 32 infant deaths since 2009.
Dangerous Children’s Products
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group in Philadelphia teamed up with the nonprofit Kids in Danger to survey 376 licensed childcare facilities in three states to ask whether the items were still in use.
One in 10 of the facilities surveyed that serve children under a year old said they still used the sleepers. Many said they were not aware of the recall or safety issues, PIRG said in a report released last week.
Pediatricians say the post-recall persistence of these sleepers is a nightmare because it’s just a matter of time before there is another child fatality. Pediatricians have repeatedly said that these are dangerous products for infants that pose a suffocation hazard due to their inherent dangerous design.
They say it could be several years before these sleepers completely disappear from the market. Pediatricians encourage parents to put a baby to sleep alone on his or her back on a firm, flat surface that is clear of any other items such as plush toys, pillows or blankets.
Inclined sleepers don’t follow this advice. They are not flat or firm and they are not free of items that can obstruct a baby’s airway. In spite of the Rock ‘n Play recall and the recall of three other brands of these sleepers (Kids II, Disney, and Eddie Bauer), discount stores and the online marketplace still, sell these products.
Holding Manufacturers Accountable
It is deeply concerning to note that stores online and brick-and-mortar are continuing to sell these inclined sleepers when so many experts have dissuaded the public from using them including the American Academy of Pediatrics. 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. It is also critical, based on this most recent PIRG survey, that childcare centers stop using these dangerous products.