Infants died in Fisher Price seats that aren’t meant for sleeping, the safety commission said

After at least 13 infant deaths in Fisher-Price bouncers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission warned customers about the risks of inclined products to children in the first few months of life.

The deaths occurred over the past 12 years and have been linked to baby-to-toddler rocker or newborn-to-toddler rocker, according to an announcement by Commissioner Richard L. Trumka Jr. on Tuesday. Expert advice from doctors and the agency says infants should only sleep on flat surfaces.

“No inclined product made by Fisher-Price or any other company is safe for infant sleep,” Mr. Trumka said. “Only a level, solid surface is safe.”

Another company product, a Fisher-Price sleeper, was recalled in 2019 after being linked to at least 10 deaths. Sleepers and seesaws are similar products, said Dr. Ben Hoffman, Chair of the Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Both lay the child at an angle.

Babies under 4 months don’t have the strength to roll over on a flat bed, but the shape of these products allows them to. This can cause them to suffocate with the material on either side as they are unable to roll their body onto their back. Also, the angle of these rockers can obstruct infant airways.

A Fisher-Price representative said in a statement that safe use of its bouncers includes not using them to sleep, never leaving the child unattended or untied, and not adding bedding.

“The product is safe and provides infants and young children with a seat to relax and play in – both as a rocking chair and as a stationary chair,” the representative said. “However, parents and caregivers should not use these products for sleeping, never leave infants unattended or untied in these products, and never add bedding due to the risk of suffocation.”

The commission also included a warning about a Kids 2 Minnie Mouse-themed rocker for infants to toddlers, which the commission said was linked to a death. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

“This is a tragic reminder of the importance of safe infant sleep,” said Dr. hoffman

Car seats, when installed at the right angle with a harness, can safely put a baby to sleep, he said. But the same car seat is not recommended if it is detached from its base.

“As a parent and pediatrician, I know it’s difficult to think about taking a sleeping baby out of a car seat and into an approved sleeper,” he said. “But that’s the recommendation.”

In May, Congress passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, banning the manufacture and sale of inclined infant sleepers. Sudden infant death, one of the leading causes of death in babies in the United States, can be caused by sleeping conditions that are not recommended, such as using a reclined bouncer.

The baby-to-toddler rocker and newborn-to-toddler rocker were not recalled, but Mr. Trumka said the commission will decide whether they fall under the congressional ban. The 2019 recall included 4.7 million products.

The disclosure of the 13 infant deaths that occurred between 2009 and 2021 was delayed by two months due to a restriction that prohibits the Commission from disclosing information about consumer products without taking specific steps to ensure its accuracy and fairness. Mr. Trumka called on Congress to repeal this “gag rule.”

“Even working with Fisher-Price, we fought an uphill battle to release this information to caution parents and carers,” Mr. Trumka said.

Alex D. Hoehn-Saric, chairman of the Safety Commission, said the organization was continuing investigations into the deaths. On June 23, a new rule comes into effect that enforces the requirement that the surfaces of sleep products have an angle of 10 degrees or less.

“Your child’s sleeping environment should be the safest place in your home, so we want to remind parents and caregivers: The best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, level surface in a crib, cradle or play area, with no blankets , pillows or other items,” he said. “Babies should never be left unattended or untied in bouncers, gliders, pacifiers, or swings.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.