Federal safety officials have announced another inclined sleeper recall, impacting more than 50,000 accessories ued with Kolcraft bassinets, warning consumers to stop using the products immediately after similar designs have been linked to more than 70 infant deaths.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a Kolcraft Cuddle ‘n Care 2-in-1 Bassinet & Incline Sleeper recall on February 20, due to a risk that babies using the inclined sleep accessory may suffocate after becoming trapped against the fabric if they roll over.
Inclining infant sleepers and bassinets are designed to elevate the baby’s head and torso. Past research has suggested that by inclining an infant during sleep, it may help prevent acid-reflux and congestion. However, the design has proven to be potentially deadly after babies are old enough to rollover on their own, or if the incline of the bassinet forces the child’s chin down to his or her neck, creating an airway blockage.
The recall includes Cuddle ‘n Care 2-in-1 Bassinet & Inclines with model numbers beginning with KB063, and the Preferred Position 2-in-1 Bassinet & Incline Sleepers with model numbers beginning with KB061.
The bassinets were sold with a sleep accessory that allows the infant to be inclined. CPSC officials indicate only the sleep accessory which inclines the infant is being recalled, and that consumers may continue to use the flat bassinet portion of the products.
The recalled sleepers were manufactured in China under Kolcraft Enterprises Inc., of Chicago, Illinois. They were distributed for sale throughout the United States from December 2011 through December 2017 at juvenile product stores and mass merchandisers for about $140.
To date, the CPSC is not aware of any injuries or fatalities related specifically to the Kolcraft products. However, the CPSC has received 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths related to similar infant inclined sleep products occurring from January 2005 through June 2019.
Customers are being asked to stop using the inclining sleep accessory immediately, and to contact Kolcraft at 800-453-7673 or by visiting them online to receive a $35 voucher to be used on www.Kolcraft.com or a $20 refund.
Inclined Sleeper Concerns
The CPSC first warned the public of inclined infant sleeper safety concerns a week before it announced a Fisher-Price Rock’n Play recall in April affecting nearly five million sleepers, instructing consumers to stop placing their infants in the sleepers by three months old, or before they begin to show signs that they can roll over independently.
Since the warning was issued, several manufacturers have also issued recalls of inclined sleeper products including a recall of 694,000 Kids II inclined rocking sleepers. Fischer-Price subsequently released an additional inclined sleeper recall in June, impacting 71,000 inclined sleeping accessories sold with their Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards.
Fischer-Price now faces several inclined sleeper individual wrongful death lawsuits as well as a class action lawsuit alleging the manufacturer knew or should have known about the risk of problems, yet delayed announcing a recall or warning, and knowingly allowed parents to continue purchasing life threatening sleeper devices.
Some of the most recent recalls to be issued this year by the CPSC have involved the Summer Infant SwaddleMe By Your Bed inclined sleeper recall, the Graco Little Lounger Rocking Seats recall, the Evenflo Pillo Portable Nappers, and the Delta Incline Sleepers with Adjustable Feeding Position for Newborns.
Amid rising concerns about problems with inclined infant sleepers, which have been linked to at least 73 fatalities, the CPSC conducted an independent study that was released in October 2019, finding none of the inclined sleep products the team tested offered a safe sleep environment for infants, and devices with over a 10 degree angle created increased sleep hazards.