Fisher-Price Issues Recall of Rock ‘n Play Sleepers After Being Linked to Infant Death

When you purchase new items for your baby, you never dream that the item will ultimately end up causing the death of your infant. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened to 32 children whose parents purchased the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. As a result, all models of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play sleepers have been recalled.


Safety Recommendations of Pediatricians

The entire design of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper goes against medical advice given to new parents. The sleeper allows parents to place their babies on their backs on an incline. However, medical experts continually tell parents that their babies should always be placed flat on their back when sleeping. Additionally, babies should be kept free from soft bedding when they are sleeping in order to reduce the chances of suffocation.


Consumer Reports Alert

On April 8, 2019, Consumer Reports published an investigation into the safety of Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. Their report noted that the device went entirely against the advice given by medical experts. The report was not the first time that Consumer Reports had expressed concern over the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. Three days earlier, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Fisher-Price issued a joint CPSC Alert warning parents not to allow any children older than three months to sleep in the device due to the high number of rollover deaths after that age.

By the time Consumer Reports completed their investigation and published their report on April 8, they found that rollovers were not the only cause of death. More disturbingly, a total of 32 babies had died as a result of being put into the sleeper.


Initial Response from Fisher-Price

Before publishing their report, Consumer Reports reached out to Fisher-Price for a comment. Their comments did not demonstrate that they were willing to make a recall, even though Consumer Reports recommended one. Instead, Fisher-Price stated that all the deaths were a “tragedy,” and that they would continue to focus on educating parents on how to “create a safe sleep environment” for their children.


Pediatricians Join The Fight

On April 10, just two days after the report by Consumer Reports, the American Academy of Pediatrics urged parents to stop using the sleepers for any child, regardless of their age. They also urged stores to remove the sleepers from their shelves entirely. Despite this urging, Fisher-Price continued to argue that all the required safety concerns had been met. Their media statement reminded parents not to use any pillows, blankets or additional padding in order to make sure their children remained safe. But the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Kyle Yasuda, called the sleepers “deadly,” and demanded a recall.

In response to growing criticism and professional outcry, Fisher-Price issued a recall on April 12 of all 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers due to their association with infant deaths. They also stated that parents should stop using them immediately. Another company, Kids II, recalled their Rocking Sleepers on April 26. The Rocking Sleepers were very similar to the design of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers.


Product Liability Lawsuits

Due to the delayed response by Fisher-Price to an overwhelming amount of evidence that their product was defective, parents of children injured or killed due to the sleeper may have a right to a product liability claim. These claims occur whenever a product is defective or unsafe and results in injury. If you think you have a claim, contact the experienced attorneys at The Eichholz Law Firm immediately for a free case evaluation.


References

Anthony Rivas. “All models of Fisher-Price Rock N’ Play sleepers recalled after infant deaths”, ABC news, https://abcnews.go.com/Business/fisher-price-rock-play-sleepers-recalled-infant-deaths/story?id=62364665, Accessed May 3, 2019.