Fisher-Price recalls baby sleepers after multiple infant deaths

Nearly five million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers after reports link product to dozens of baby deaths

The Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play sleeper which has been recalled. Photograph: US Consumer Product Safety Commission

The Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play sleeper which has been recalled. Photograph: US Consumer Product Safety Commission

 

Fisher-Price has recalled all of its 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play sleepers, days after a group of pediatricians urged its parent company, Mattel, to stop selling the product amid reports linking it to multiple infant deaths.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission in the US said consumers should stop using the sleeper immediately and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or a voucher.

Major US retailers sell the product for $40 to $149, according to the agency. The voluntary move by Fisher-Price was a reversal for the company, which issued a joint safety warning with the product safety commission last week after the commission said it was aware of 10 deaths since 2015 of children 3 months or older linked to the sleeper.

In most cases, the children suffocated after rolling over in the sleeper from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained.

Mattel said in a statement Friday it stood by the safety of its products but agreed to the voluntary recall “due to reported incidents in which the product was used contrary to the safety warnings and instructions.”

A separate investigation by Consumer Reports connected the cloth-covered cradle to 32 infant deaths from 2011 to 2018, including some involving children younger than 3 months.

On Tuesday, the American Academy of Pediatrics called the sleeper “deadly” and demanded an immediate recall. Republican Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill, the chairwoman of the House subcommittee focused on consumer protection, added to the outcry Thursday, pushing Mattel to remove the sleeper from stores and websites, saying in a statement that “any delay continues to put more children’s lives at risk.”

Jonathan A. Sorkowitz, a lawyer for a family whose 3-month-old daughter died in a Rock ‘n Play in September 2018, said his clients were considering legal action, despite the recall. “Although this is a necessary and important step, it does not provide justice for the many families who have already been harmed by this dangerous product,” he said in an emailed statement. - New York Times