Fisher-Price has recalled its Rock 'n Play product after more than 30 children died, and it raises concerns about all restraint-based incline sleepers
- Mattel-owned Fisher-Price is recalling its Rock 'n Play Sleeper after the death of more than 30 infants in the US has been linked to the products use.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has previously warned against inclined sleepers and sleepers that require securing restraints.
Fisher-Price is recalling 5 million infant sleepers after the deaths of more than 30 babies in the US were linked to their use.
The New York Times reported that in most cases, the babies suffocated after rolling over onto their stomach or side from their back.
The problem isn't just for Fisher-Price though, according to watchdog groups.
Kids In Danger - an organisation working to protect kids through product safety regulation - released a warning against inclined sleepers in June 2018. The organisation said once infants can roll over, there's an increased risk of the baby getting trapped in a position they can't escape from. But it's a difficult metric to regulate as every baby will develop at a different speed - some rolling over at five months, and some before three months.
See also: Teething necklaces popular in SA have been deemed a 'potentially deadly threat to children' in the US after a baby died
While it has been noted that many of these deaths occurred while the baby was not properly restrained - as instructed explicitly by the product instruction manual - the American Academy of Pediatrics argues that products with restraints shouldn't be used for sleeping in the first place.
The AAP released a statement on Tuesday explaining how car seats, strollers, and "devices" can be dangerous when used as a sleeping spot for an infant. The academy said that leaving a baby to sleep in something that requires a restraint poses "the risk that a baby could roll or turn into an unsafe position and be incapable of moving, leading to suffocation or strangulation."
The Times reported that Mattel - Fisher-Price's parent company - released a statement on Friday standing by its product. Despite its confidence toward existing product safety, Mattel agreed to a voluntary product recall encouraged by the Consumer Product Safety Commission "due to reported incidents in which the product was used contrary to the safety warnings and instructions."
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