Pediatrics Group Urges Recall of ‘Deadly’ Baby Seat

A national pediatrics association has called on Fisher-Price to recall an inclined baby seat that has been connected to the deaths of at least 10 infants.

Following the release of a Consumer Reports article, which linked even more deaths to the product, the American Academy of Pediatrics demanded an immediate recall of Fisher-Price’s Newborn Rock ‘n Play Sleeper.

“This product is deadly and should be recalled immediately,” said Kyle Yasuda, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “When parents purchase a product for their baby or child, many assume that if it’s being sold in a store, it must be safe to use. Tragically, that is not the case.”

He continued: “There is convincing evidence that the Rock ‘n Play inclined sleeper puts infants’ lives at risk, and [the Consumer Product Safety Commission] must step up and take immediate action to remove it from stores and prevent further tragedies.” 

A recent investigation by Consumer Reports found that as many as 32 infants have died while in the Rock ’n Play Sleeper since 2009. The report stated the dangers of inclined and restrained sleeping, citing research by multiple pediatric experts.

Days prior to the report’s release, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned owners of the sleeper to stop using the product when their children reach three months of age or exhibit “roll-over capabilities.” The CPSC noted 10 infant deaths connected to the Rock ‘n Play since 2015.

According to the Commission, the deaths occurred when infants rolled from their backs to their stomachs or sides while sleeping unrestrained. In the product’s instructions, Fisher-Price warns against leaving babies in the sleeper unrestrained or unsupervised. 

“The reported deaths show that some consumers are still using the product when infants are capable of rolling and without using the three point harness restraint,” Fisher-Price said through a joint statement with the CPSC.   

Fisher-Price also published a webpage addressing criticisms of the Rock ‘n Play’s safety. While acknowledging the Consumer Reports article, the page emphasizes the Rock ‘n Play’s safety credentials. It also provides guidance on the sleeper’s use.

“We continue to stand by the safety of the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, as it meets all applicable safety standards,” the page says.

Fisher-Price has contested the number of deaths reported by Consumer Reports, instead attributing the deaths to preexisting “medical/health conditions” or instances in which “the product was clearly used in a manner contrary to the safety warnings and instructions.”

Consumer Reports, for its part, acknowledged “contributing factors” unrelated to the Rock ‘n Play’s design were significant in “certain cases,”  but reasserted its criticism of the Fisher-Price product.

“The number of incidents associated with the Rock ’n Play Sleeper, combined with long-standing expert medical advice that babies should sleep on firm, flat surfaces, raises serious safety concerns about the product,” wrote Rachel Rabkin Peachman of Consumer Reports.

On April 11, Consumer Reports published another article linking four infant deaths to two other inclined sleepers made by children’s product company Kids II. Consumer Reports urged the recall of all inclined baby sleep products.

“These inclined products are linked to infant deaths and conflict with medical experts’ safe sleep recommendations,” said William Wallace, a senior policy analyst at Consumer Reports. “If any infant sleep product doesn’t align with [expert] advice, the CPSC should get it off the market right away, so that parents and caregivers don’t unwittingly put their babies at risk.”

Image courtesy of Pexels.com

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