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Letters from CR President and CEO Marta Tellado to infant inclined sleeper manufacturers calling for immediate recalls

For a related press release, click here.

In light of strong evidence that infant inclined sleep products are inherently unsafe, including the revelation that these products are linked to at least 73 infant deaths, Consumer Reports urges your company to immediately recall all its infant sleepers with an inclined back surface. Your removal of all infant inclined sleep products and accessories from the market is essential to keep babies safe, to live up to your responsibilities to your customers, and to minimize consumer confusion around safe infant sleep practices.

Consumers reasonably expect companies to offer products that are safe, and to remove all hazardous products from the market. These steps are critical to ensuring consumer trust, especially when it comes to the safety of infants. However, today’s marketplace fails in these responsibilities by allowing dangerous sleep products to remain on store shelves and in homes.

Recently, 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.” These products had back angles greater than 10 degrees, like those your company offers. 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.”

Any manufacturer with information reasonably supporting 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” is required under federal law to immediately inform the CPSC, and is expected to work with the agency on a potential recall. 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 to recall all its infant inclined sleepers and remove them from the market.

There is no reason to wait for more deaths or injuries to take action. Too many dangerous sleep products remain for sale and in use at homes and day care centers, and continue to put infants at risk. We strongly urge you to remove all inclined products from store shelves, online marketplaces, and people’s homes permanently—and to include in these recalls all such products that are for sleep, including those marketed for “napping,” “resting,” or “snoozing,” as well as those that imply they are safe for some kinds of sleep but not “unsupervised,” “prolonged,” or “overnight” sleep.

The CPSC took important steps last week toward a new paradigm, where 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 sleep products because surfaces with an incline of 10 degrees or less are the safest for sleep.

Your company must acknowledge the dangers that inclined sleepers pose to infants and the significance of the CPSC’s actions. 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 carry out recalls immediately—instead of waiting and thus leaving infants in danger and keeping parents and caregivers in the dark. 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 your response no later than November 11, 2019.


Marta L. Tellado
President and CEO

For the full letters, click here.