Federal safety officials are warning parents and guardians to check their homes for recalled baby products, after millions of defective and potentially life-threatening infant sleepers and sleep accessories have been removed from the market this year, many of which remain in homes nationwide.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a press release on September 11, announcing a new consumer awareness campaign, which is designed to encourage parents and guardians to make checking for recalled products in the home a top priority.
As part of the agency’s Baby Safety Month, officials have outlined a series of infant product recalls in recent months, which impact millions of children’s products that have been linked to reports of severe injury and infant deaths.
The campaign comes after a series of inclined sleeper recalls have been issued since April 2019, which has led to an ongoing evaluation of product safety standards by ASTM International, a manufacturing industry group, to determine whether millions of the products should be banned from the market.
The CPSC first raised concerns over inclined sleepers when it issued a Fisher-Price Rock’n Play warning, instructing consumers to stop placing their infants in the sleepers by the time they were three months old, or before they begin to show signs that they can roll over independently, which increases their risk of suffocating in the sleepers.
By the end of April, Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million Rock’n Play Sleepers and Kids II recalled 694,000 inclined rocking sleepers after linking at least 50 infant deaths to the products. Fisher-Price later released an additional inclined sleeper recall in June, impacting 71,000 inclined sleeping accessories sold with their Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards.
Officials are also warning parents and guardians of the Boppy infant head and neck support recall which was issued in July, following several consumer complaints that the foam neck support pushes infants’ chins toward the chest, which could pose an airway blockage risk.
The recall involves roughly 14,000 infant head and neck support accessories, which are designed to be placed behind an infant’s head while laying down, in strollers, swings or bouncers. They have a foam-filled fabric surrounding the infant’s head to keep it in place, and two pillow-like supports on each side to support the infant’s neck.
A safe sleep environment for infants and children is extremely important, which is why the CPSC has listed a series of recommendations on the update that include:
- To prevent suffocation, always place baby on back to sleep and never place pillows (including nursing pillows), blankets and quilts in baby’s sleep space, remember Bare is Best!
- Only use a crib, play yard and bassinet that meets current CPSC standards. Follow manufacturers’ assembly directions for play yards.
- Use a firm, tight fitting mattress.
- Regularly check crib for loose, missing or broken parts or slats.
- Keep baby monitor cords, lamp cords, telephone cords, and night light cords at least 3 feet away from the crib. Children can wrap the cords around their necks and strangle.
The CPSC is encouraging caregivers to take advantage of the resources available to them by routinely checking the agency website for new recalls, signing up for automated recall notifications, or by downloading the CPSC Recalls App to receive real-time updates on hazard products being recalled from the market. Information on the recall return, repairs, and refunds will also be provided.