NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — Almost four years after millions of popular infant-inclined sleep products, including the Fisher-Price Rock‘n Play, were recalled because of safety concerns, more child deaths are being linked to these products. Sadly, not all parents know about the dangers and some say the companies making these products aren’t doing enough to warn them.
In the spring of 2019 Fisher-Price and Kids2 infant-inclined sleepers were recalled after a Consumer Reports investigation revealed at least 36 deaths linked to the products. Since then, the number of deaths has tripled.
Now, new information just released is a stark reminder that these dangerous sleep products are still in use. The Consumer Product Safety Commission says at least eight additional babies have reportedly died in Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper and four have died in the Kids2 rocking sleepers since the recall, bringing the total number of deaths for both sleepers to more than 100.
"These sleepers position infants on an inclined sleeping surface, and that increases the risk of suffocation if it makes their heads drop forward onto their chests while they’re sleeping," said Lauren Kirchner, a Consumer Reports investigative reporter.
Sadly, the news that additional infants have died means that even while the inclined sleepers cannot legally be sold, they are still being used in people’s homes.
"When a product gets recalled, it’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to both get it out of the stores and to alert people who already own it to stop using it immediately. And safety experts say that they just haven’t seen Fisher-Price or Kids2 do enough in that area," said Kirchner.
According to Mattel, Fisher-Price’s parent company, as of last March, only 9.5% of the Rock ‘n Play sleepers had been accounted for since the recall. In other words, more than 4 million recalled sleepers are potentially still in use. Mattel says Fisher-Price “has worked diligently to remove all recalled product from the market” since the recall of the Rock ‘n Play in 2019. Kids2 did not respond to a request for comment from Consumer Reports.
To keep your baby safe, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be put to bed only in products that meet federal safety requirements for infant sleep, such as a bassinet, crib, or play yard.
If you’re having a hard time getting your infant to sleep, ask your pediatrician for tips, rather than using an unsafe positioning product.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission asks that if you see any of these recalled sleepers for sale, that you report it to the agency at SaferProducts.gov.