Nancy Cowles is pleased to announce the re-announced nationwide recall of infant incline sleepers, which were withdrawn from the market in 2019 as an infant safety issue and banned by Congress two years later.
But Cowles, executive director of the Chicago-based nonprofit Kids in Danger, is sorry that 12 more babies died from dangerous sleepers. The announcement was made through the Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission.
And that announcement alone isn’t enough, she says.
“Manufacturers seem to think that by talking to the CPSC and announcing a recall, their job is done,” he recalled in 1998 at his daycare center for a recalled portable crib.
The reissued CPSC recall covers these leaning sleepers, which were first recalled in April 2019.
- Approximately 4.7 million Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleepers sold at major retailers such as Walmart and Target and Amazon from 2009 to 2019. Fisher-Price is owned by Mattel Inc. , including Illinois. Two of his similar products from Fisher-Price, the 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soother and the 2-in-1 Soothe’ n Play Glider, have been recalled for 2021, replacing the company’s toddler-to-toddler rockers and newborns. to newborn toddler lockers have been recalled for 2022, but they are not part of the new announcement.
- Between 2012 and 2019, approximately 694,000 Kids2 slope sleepers were sold at major retailers. 15 of them are reported to have died.
Cowles says parents who’ve heard about the recall but haven’t yet taken it seriously should know that any person who sleeps on an incline is “a lethal product for babies.” increase.
She wants manufacturers to spread the word through social media influencers and other marketing tools to win the hearts and minds of busy parents.
When first sold in the United States in 2009, these items were wildly popular with parents when they were marketed as a way to calm reflux in babies and get them to sleep, but reports of injuries and deaths soon followed.
Lying at an angle of more than 10 degrees can cause the sleeping baby’s head to roll too far forward or sideways, blocking the airway and causing suffocation.
But ten years passed before the sleeper was recalled. And that was after dozens of deaths.
Cowles said he believes the death toll reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission vastly underestimates the true number of deaths.
“Most people don’t even know what the CPSC is,” she says.
After the 2019 recall, Congress passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021. A “final rule” went into effect on June 23rd of last year, banning all infant sleepers with a slope of more than 10 degrees, regardless of manufacturer. Federal law also prohibits crib bumper pads.
It is currently illegal to sell sloping sleepers anywhere in the United States, including through online reseller platforms or selling bargains.
The Itasca-based American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep alone on their backs on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet, or player yard that meets federal safety standards and has no additional bedding. increase.
No one knows how many of the millions of leaning sleepers now banned are still in people’s homes or given away to friends and relatives. As of last spring, Mattel accounted for 9.5% of recalled Rock ‘n Play sleepers, according to consumer reports, an advocacy and testing organization. Consumer Reports first revealed the dangers in 2019.
The CPSC is hampered by federal regulations that give manufacturers greater say in how recalls are implemented, and typically does not disclose recall response rates that companies report to the agency.
Alexander Hoehn-Saric, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, told the Chicago Sun-Times in November that the rule, dubbed Section 6(b), would require the agency to first give manufacturers an opportunity to review it. He said it may delay providing information to the public because it has to be done. for any announcement. That’s a hurdle that other federal safety agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration don’t have to deal with.
“This is a big problem for us,” says Hoehn-Saric. “Consumers deserve to be heard about the safety risks of consumer products.”
Mattel declined an interview request.
A spokesperson said the company has “worked diligently to remove all recalled products from the market.”
Kids2 did not respond to requests for comment.
Some of the forbidden sleepers may have been abandoned long ago. However, millions are still in circulation, and they may be waiting for future children in closets or kept in grandparents’ homes.
Rep. Jan Schakowski, an Evanston Democrat and former chairman of the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, has pushed for a ban on tilting sleepers to reduce the number of new deaths since the 2019 recall. says it shows manufacturers need to act more urgently.
In recent Twitter accounts, Mattel and Fisher-Price responded to complaints about customer service, but did not appear to tweet about the reissued recall. On Facebook, their latest post was about new product information.
The top news story on Kids2’s corporate Web site blog was that the company had acquired a product called the “Baby Dream Machine.” At the top of the page was the line “Important: 2019 Rocking Sleepers Re-Announcement of His Recall” and a link to the CPSC announcement in small print.
“Considering how much money these companies spend on advertising, there should be nothing wrong with spending additional money to protect consumers, especially our precious children.” says Schakowski.
The Youth Products Manufacturers Association is “committed to continuing to improve recall effectiveness,” according to executive director Lisa Trofe.
Industry groups encourage parents to monitor safety news from the CPSC and always complete product registration forms. It also says parents should check online for recalls before buying second-hand items for babies and children.
There is one more thing parents should do. One way is to report it online to SaferProducts.gov. The CPSC database also allows consumers to read what others have reported.