After the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning in late October 2019 that inclined infant sleepers led to over 73 infant deaths, major retailers are finally responding and pulling these products from their shelves.
Consumer Reports urged retailers in an open letter they sent to 14 different retailing giants, including Amazon, eBay, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Kohls, that they pull these products from their stores in order to keep consumers safe.
Too many retailers had been skirting the issue by continuing to stock products intended for “snoozing,” “napping,” or “resting,” and Consumer Reports stressed that “It is not enough for the products to specify that they are not to be used for ‘prolonged’ sleep … any kind of inclined sleeping position poses risks to infants.”
The CPSC commissioned the biomechanical research to be led by Erin M. Manned, Ph.D., whose study found that “none of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as part of the study are safe for infant sleep.”
Which Inclined Sleeper Products Were Causing Infant Deaths?
With over 1,108 incidents reported to the CPSC so far, these types of sleepers have been sold at big-box retailers since 2014, and multiple brands and products have been facing recalls.
The Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper pictured above
Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers: These were recalled in April 2019 after a CPSC study links the product to over 30 infant deaths over 10 years. About 4.7 million sleepers were eventually impacted by the recall.
Fisher Price Ultra Lite Day & Night Play Yards: Shortly after the first recall, Fisher Price recalled approximately 71,000 inclined sleeper accessories for their Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards.
Kids II Rocking Sleepers: These infant sleepers were also recalled shortly after Fisher Price, with their product being linked to five infant deaths since their 2012 launch. These recalled affected approximately 694,000 units.
Dorel Juvenile Group USA’s Bassinets: Dorel had manufactured multiple infant sleepers sold under the Disney and Eddie Bauer brand names. In July 2019 the Eddie Bauer Slumber and Soothe Rock Bassinet and Disney Baby Doze and Dream Bassinet we both recalled affecting about 24,000 units.
SwaddleMe By Your Bed: Only recalled in January 2020, By Your Bed recalled almost 46,300 bassinets that caused similar issues as other recalled beds.
What About These Inclined Sleepers Is Causing Infant Deaths?
The deaths caused by these inclined sleepers is linked to a number of factors but ultimately the research identified carbon dioxide rebreathing, asphyxiation, and suffocation as causes of death.
Parents.com was able to speak to Dr. Mannen who performed the CPSC study identified a couple scenarios that infants were facing:
Suffocation Due to CO2 Rebreathing: The low breathability of certain materials (even mesh) located to the sides of the infants face can lead to carbon dioxide rebreathing which is a large risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Babies Rolling on Their Stomachs: In more than 20 of the cases studies the infants had been found on their tummies, and once they are in a stomach down position, they lacked the strength to push themselves into a new position which could lead to suffocation.
Positional Asphyxia In Standard Sitting Positions: In addition to the dangers of a child rolling over, even without rolling, infants were at risk of potential asphyxiation as the heavy head of an infant has a tendency to fall forward due to the steep angle of these inclined sleepers.
Legal Assistance Is Available For The Families Of Inclined Infant Sleeper Victims
If you or a loved one’s child was harmed after being placed in a Fisher-Price inclined infant sleeper or another brand of infant sleeper don’t hesitate to call our lawyers at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt directly at 1-800-590-4116 to learn how we can help you.
If your child has been harmed while sleeping, resting or playing in one of these devices, please don’t blame yourself. You purchased a baby item in good faith, believing it was safe for your child to rest there.
Now it’s time to explore your legal options to determine whether you’d like to pursue legal action against the manufacturer that produced an unsafe product. Please speak with our Pennsylvania Fisher Price Rock n Play law firm today about your options.