For a related press release, click here.
In light of strong evidence showing that infant inclined sleep products are inherently unsafe and are linked to at least 73 infant deaths, Consumer Reports urges your company to immediately remove from its store shelves or online marketplaces all infant sleepers with an inclined back surface. The removal of all infant inclined sleep products and accessories is essential to keep babies safe, to satisfy your responsibilities to your customers, and to minimize consumer confusion around safe infant sleep practices.
Consumers reasonably expect retailers and platforms to ensure that all available products are safe, and any dangerous products are quickly removed from store shelves and online marketplaces. However, today’s retail market fails consumers when dangerous sleep products remain available. As a company fundamentally reliant on consumer trust, we urge you to take critical steps to remove these products, to inform consumers of recalls, and to ensure that all infant sleep products made available conform to safe sleep principles as recommended by organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released the results of agency-commissioned biomechanical research, led by Erin M. Mannen, Ph.D., into the dangers associated with infant inclined sleep products. In examining how infants move and use their muscles in various sleepers, the Mannen Study found that “none of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as a part of this study are safe for infant sleep.” Citing the findings of the Mannen Study, the CPSC issued a statement advising that parents and caregivers should “[s]top using infant sleep products with inclined seat backs of more than 10 degrees.”
Retailers are required by federal law to act on information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a consumer product “contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard” or “creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.” The Mannen Study strongly indicates that all inclined sleep products and accessories are dangerous for infants and the CPSC is clear that they should not be used. We therefore urge your company to take action right away and remove all inclined sleep products.
Too many dangerous sleep products remain available and in use at homes and day care centers, and continue to put infants at risk. We strongly urge you to permanently remove all infant inclined sleep products from your inventory, including all such products marketed for “napping,” “resting,” or “snoozing,” and those that imply they are safe for just some subset of “sleep.” It is not enough for the products to specify that they are not to be used for “unsupervised,” “prolonged,” or “overnight” sleep. Implied safety associated with any kind of inclined sleeping poses a risk to infants.
The CPSC took important steps last month to guarantee that safe infant sleep is non-negotiable. In addition to the statement it issued, the Commission voted unanimously to publish a proposal by agency staff—based in significant part on the findings of the Mannen Study—to ensure strong safety requirements are in place for all current and future infant sleep products. This proposed rule includes a prohibition on infant inclined sleep products because surfaces with an incline of 10 degrees or less are the safest for sleep.
The CPSC now recognizes the clear dangers of infant sleep at an incline, as established by expert research and the numerous tragedies that have occurred. Your company must do the same, and immediately remove these products. We also urge you to publicly express your support for the pending CPSC rules.
Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to these matters of life and death. In the interest of infant safety, we request a response no later than Wednesday, December 4.
For the full letters, click here.