More than one year after Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play recall, Facebook and Craigslist have yet to take strong action to prevent the listing and sale of hazardous infant sleepers
WASHINGTON — Consumer Reports and several members of Congress today called on Facebook and Craigslist to immediately commit to remove all infant inclined sleep products from their online marketplaces because they are not safe for infant sleep. The products are linked to at least 92 infant deaths. Both Consumer Reports and a group of lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and U.S. Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.), sent letters to Facebook and Craigslist demanding stronger action on infant inclined sleepers and stronger policies for their online marketplaces where secondhand sales are common.
William Wallace, manager of home and safety policy for Consumer Reports, said, “Together with leading safety advocates in Congress, we’re telling Facebook and Craigslist: enough is enough. It’s long past time for Facebook and Craigslist to take the safety risks of inclined sleepers seriously and do their part to help parents and caregivers protect their babies. Consumer Reports thanks Congresswoman Schakowsky, Senator Blumenthal, and Congressman Cárdenas for their leadership as we work together to ensure all infant sleep products are safe.”
In December 2019, the U.S. House passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, a CR-endorsed bill by Reps. Cárdenas and Schakowsky to ban all infant inclined sleep products. That bill and a similar bill authored by Senator Blumenthal now await Senate action. In the meantime, the CPSC has proposed new rules for infant sleep products that would effectively prohibit inclined sleepers, but the rules have not yet been finalized. Consumer Reports, other consumer advocates, and the American Academy of Pediatrics all support the proposal.
Oriene Shin, policy counsel for product safety at Consumer Reports, said, “Despite strong evidence showing that inclined sleepers are not safe for infants, Facebook and Craigslist have ignored repeated calls for strong action to ban and block listings of these products. Facebook and Craigslist should do what Amazon and eBay have already done and publicly commit right now to remove all inclined sleepers from their marketplaces, recalled or not.”
During Consumer Reports’ ongoing investigation of infant sleep safety, more than five million inclined sleepers have been recalled, including models by Fisher-Price and Kids II more than a year ago and four additional models by other companies in January 2020. Still others remain on the market. CR also has found numerous inclined sleepers, including recalled products, for sale on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist. Today’s letters follow previous messages to the companies seeking a commitment on safety, including from Consumer Reports staff, Consumer Reports President and CEO Marta L. Tellado, and more than 10,000 individual consumers.
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.
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