As a result of design problems that have resulted in at least 32 infant deaths, nearly 5 million Fisher-Price Rock‘n Play Sleepers are being recalled, due to a risk that babies may suffocate after becoming trapped against the fabric if they roll over.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the Fisher-Price Rock’n Play Sleepers recall on April 12, days after the agency issued a warning that urged consumers to stop placing infants in the sleepers before they begin go show signs that they can roll over independently, and to completely stop use of the sleepers by the time an infant is three months old.
The infant deaths appear to have occurred when infants rolled from their back to their stomach while in the sleepers, which are marketed under the “Rock’n Play” brand. The impacted sleepers are inclining, which are similar to bassinets, however they are designed to elevate the baby’s head and torso to help prevent acid-reflux or congestion while sleeping.
The Rock’n Play models include restraints to prevent an infant from being able to sit up or roll over. However, when a child is not fastened properly in the restraints, the infant may turn on their side, or roll completely over and not have the proper neck strength to lift their head, creating a suffocation risk.
Shortly after the initial CPSC warning was released last week, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a statement on April 9, calling for the commission to issue an immediate recall for the Rock’n Play Sleepers. The AAP determined the inclined sleepers are unsafe and that the CPSC warning did not go far enough to ensure the safety of infants.
“When parents purchase a product for their baby or child, many assume that if it’s being sold in a store, it must be safe to use,” AAP President Dr. Kyle Yasuda said in the statement. “Tragically, that is not the case. There is convincing evidence that the Rock ‘n Play inclined sleeper puts infants’ lives at risk, and CPSC must step up and take immediate action to remove it from stores and prevent further tragedies.”
Following the AAP’s statement, Fisher-Price voluntarily announced the recall under the CPSC’s Fast Track recall process.
The recall affects approximately 4.7 million Rock’n Play Sleepers manufactured in China under Fisher-Price, of East Aurora, New York. They were distributed for sale throughout the United States to major retailers for between $40 and $149 since 2009. The recall involves all Rock’n Play models.
The CPSC instructs consumers to stop using the sleepers immediately and to contact Fisher-Price at 866-812-6518 or visit them online to view the Recalls & Safety Alerts for information on how to receive a refund or voucher.
According to the FDA, about 4,000 infants annually die unexpectedly during sleep from accidental suffocation, sudden infant death syndrome, or unknown causes. Many of the reported fatalities are a result of suffocation from rolling on their sides or stomach.
To reduce suffocation and accidental deaths, the AAP recommends infants sleep on their backs positioned on a firm, empty surface, not containing any soft objects toys, pillows or loose bedding. The recommendation for new parents is to always follow the ABCs of safe sleep: Alone on the Back in a bare Crib.