U.S. Lawmakers Call for Infant Lounger Pillow Ban Following Boppy Recall, Child Suffocation Deaths

Recalled Boppy infant loungers have been linked to child deaths and suffocation injuries, yet several manufacturers selling similar products have refused to cooperate with federal safety officials by issuing a recall.

Following a massive Boppy recall and subsequent consumer warnings about the serious risk of suffocation and death posed by the infant loungers, two law makers are calling for federal safety officials to issue a total ban on the pillows.

In a letter sent to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) last week, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, and U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, of Illinois, urged the CPSC to issue rules eliminating infant lounger sales.

Dozens of infant suffocation deaths have been linked to the loungers, including several that reportedly occurred after a massive Boppy brand infant lounger recall in 2021, according to the letter.

The law makers also expressed concern that other manufacturers were still marketing baby loungers similar to the Boppy brand products, noting that several companies have refused to cooperate with CPSC recall requests.

Infant Pillow Safety Standards Being Considered by CPSC

The letter comes as the CPSC is reportedly preparing to enact new infant pillow and lounger safety regulations in the coming weeks. Depending on CPSC requirements, these regulations may include design specifications which could effectively amount to a lounger ban. However, before finalization, any new regulations will undergo a lengthy review process, including public commentary and feedback.

The CPSC’s efforts to reduce deaths linked to infant loungers is a response to multiple child fatalities blamed on the products in recent years. The cushioned, pillow like loungers produced by Boppy and other brands have been linked to at least 26 infant suffocation deaths between 2015 and 2021. According to a recent NBC investigation, that number is more than twice the fatalities previously estimated by CPSC officials.

While Boppy and other manufacturers claim their loungers are not intended or marketed for infant sleep, newborns are known to quickly fall asleep on the heavily cushioned, inclined products. This reportedly places them at increased suffocation risk if they are able to rollover independently, which can lead to asphyxiation if they become trapped in a position that makes breathing difficult.

Current American Academy of Pediatric guidelines encourage caregivers to place babies on firm, flat surfaces for sleep.

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Letter Notes That Infant Lounger Linked Deaths Continue, Despite Recalls

The lawmakers’ letter praises the CPSC for issuing the 2021 Boppy lounger recall impacting over 3 million units. It also commends CPSC officials for announcing a second Boppy lounger infant warning in June of this year, following continued reports of lounger linked infant deaths.

The CPSC recently chastised online retailer Facebook marketplace for allowing sales of recalled or banned infant products linked to child deaths and injuries, including Boppy loungers and Fisher Price Rock n Play sleepers.

However, CPSC officials must take further action to reduce infant deaths linked to lounger products, the letter indicates. It notes that Boppy brand loungers are not the only pillow products posing a danger to infants, and points out that some manufacturers producing and marketing similar products seem unwilling to address safety issues.

Specifically, it cites an ongoing CPSC lawsuit against lounger brand Leachco, Inc. for refusing to issue a voluntary recall following two infant suffocation deaths linked to its products.

While not explicitly mentioned in the letter, several other infant lounger brands have also refused to cooperate with CPSC safety initiatives. CPSC officials recently issued infant suffocation and fall risk warnings regarding Gorsetle brand and Momaid brand infant loungers, which are sold on Amazon.com. Despite those warnings and corresponding CPSC recall requests, both manufacturers have failed to issue recalls or offer consumer remedies.

The letter concludes that current infant lounger regulations are inadequate, and appeals to CPSC officials for new, stringent rules that eliminate pillow like loungers and similar products from all manufacturers. It asserts that ongoing infant lounger-linked deaths, continuous banned lounger sales on online platforms, and refusal of some lounger manufacturers to comply with recall requests necessitate a complete product ban.

“Dangerous infant loungers remain poorly regulated to date and as the CPSC takes action to regulate infant pillows, it is imperative that this rule include infant loungers,” the letter states. “A strong rule that eliminates pillow-like loungers, and other similar products that invite parents to use them believing these products are safe for infant sleep, is essential.”


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