Joint warnings from CPSC, Fisher-Price, Kids2 underscore critical need for safe sleep practices by caregivers—and for manufacturers to take faster, more effective action to protect infants
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Reports today called on all juvenile product manufacturers to take action much more quickly and effectively when they become aware of potential safety hazards with infant products, after the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed this morning that at least 14 infants have died in two manufacturers’ infant rocker products.
In joint releases with Fisher-Price and Kids2, the CPSC today announced that at least 13 infants died in Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rockers and Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers between 2009 and 2021, and at least one infant died in 2019 in a Kids2 Bright Starts Rocker. According to the announcements, Fisher-Price has sold more than 17 million rockers worldwide since the 1990s, and Kids2 has sold more than 1.8 million rockers worldwide since 2012.
Oriene Shin, policy counsel for product safety at Consumer Reports, said, “While it’s vital for the public to learn this information now, it’s outrageous that at least 14 infants died before they did. Products like these rockers have been sold with confusing warnings and instructions about infant sleep for years, including very recently. Manufacturers must be clearer that inclined products should not be used for any kind of sleep, including supervised sleep or napping.
“Just as parents and caregivers must take care to follow expert safe sleep recommendations, manufacturers must take care with their product designs. All infant products should account for the foreseeable possibility a baby will fall asleep, even if they’re not intended for sleep.
“Product designs should put infants’ safety first with the goal of preventing tragedies. If a death or injury does happen, manufacturers must immediately evaluate how to redesign the product to minimize risk—and if they can’t effectively prevent deaths or injuries where the product’s design is a contributing factor, then they need to remove the product from the marketplace entirely. It doesn’t seem like the manufacturers of these infant rockers have taken this protective approach.”
A new CPSC standard for infant sleep products takes effect on June 23, 2022, which requires “all products marketed or intended to provide a sleeping accommodation for an infant up to 5 months of age, and that are not already subject to a mandatory CPSC sleep standard,” to meet strong new safety requirements. In addition, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act—a federal bill enacted last month—will ban the manufacture or sale of products with “an inclined sleep surface greater than ten degrees that is intended, marketed, or designed to provide sleeping accommodations for an infant up to 1 year old” starting on November 12, 2022.
Consumer Reports recommends that parents and caregivers take extra caution to ensure that a baby in a rocker is awake, and move an infant that falls asleep in a rocker to a crib, bassinet, or play yard. American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep recommendations say that babies should be placed alone on a firm, flat surface in their own space, with only a fitted sheet and no added items such as blankets, pillows, padded crib bumpers, or toys in their sleeping space.
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