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Consumer Reports hails eBay decision to ban infant inclined sleepers, urges other companies to take action

In response to CR letter, eBay says it will ban infant inclined sleepers from its platform, including non-recalled sleepers, based on information from CR and CPSC


WASHINGTON, D.C.—Consumer Reports today said e-commerce giant eBay has informed CR that it has banned infant inclined sleepers from its platform, including non-recalled sleepers, based on information from CR and the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The company told CR it would be enforcing the new policy immediately.


Last week, CR sent letters to 15 retailers, online platforms, and trade groups urging them to protect babies’ safety by immediately removing all infant inclined sleep products.


In response to the letter from CR, eBay said it had decided to prohibit infant inclined sleepers under its product safety policy, following its previous decisions to globally ban recalled sleepers. eBay cited information from CR and the CPSC about inclined sleeper safety as the reason for the decision.


Earlier this year, a CR investigation found inclined sleepers linked to dozens of infant deaths, and the CPSC now reports 73 infant deaths associated with the products. While more than five million infant inclined sleep products have been recalled, including the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper and Kids II rocking sleepers, CR and other safety advocates have documented that many inclined sleepers remain for sale and in use, and continue to put infants at risk.


“eBay’s ban of infant inclined sleepers will help save lives and prevent tragedies worldwide. We urge every retailer and online platform to follow eBay’s lead and get all infant inclined sleepers off the market right away,” said William Wallace, manager of home and safety policy for Consumer Reports.


“Making inclined sleepers available implies they are safe, when in reality they leave infants at a greater risk of injury or death. Companies across the board should step up, be part of the solution, and remove all infant inclined sleep products from store shelves and trusted websites,” said Oriene Shin, policy counsel for home and product safety at Consumer Reports.


A recent CPSC-commissioned expert study of how infants move and use their muscles in inclined sleepers concluded that the products are unsafe for sleep. Based on these findings and on the products’ terrible toll on infants, the CPSC now advises parents and caregivers not to use infant inclined sleepers and has voted to move forward with a proposed rule to prohibit them. It is likely to take a minimum of several months for this rule to become final.


In letters to Albee Baby, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Buy Buy Baby, Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Magic Beans, Target, Walmart, and You Are My Everything, as well as the National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association trade groups, CR urged the industry to support the CPSC’s proposed rule, and in the meantime, to remove all inclined sleepers to live up to their responsibilities to their customers.


“All retailers and online platforms should publicly support the CPSC’s new proposed rules, which would take the guesswork out of whether infant sleep products are safe or not. Many of these products today are marketed for ‘napping,’ ‘resting,’ or ‘snoozing,’ or otherwise indicate they are safe for some kinds of sleep but not others. Infants are vulnerable when sleeping in inclined products, regardless of how long they sleep, and it is wrong to imply that they’re safe for this purpose,” Shin added.


Consumer Reports urges anyone with an inclined sleep product or accessory to immediately stop using it. American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep recommendations say that babies should be placed alone to bed on a firm, flat surface in their own space, with no extra bedding. All infant inclined sleep products and accessories conflict with that advice.




Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, 202-462-6262


Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.