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100 child deaths linked to Fisher-Price Sleeper recall

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About 100 infant deaths over the past 13 years have been linked to Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, which was recalled in 2019, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said Monday, in a repeated warning to parents. to stop using the product.

Fisher-Price recalled all 4.7 million of its Rock ‘n Play Sleepers in April 2019, after 32 deaths were linked to the sleeper in the nearly 10 years it’s been on the market. In most cases, children suffocated in the sleeper after rolling over from their back to their stomach or sideways without restraint.

Since the 2019 recall, about 70 additional deaths have been reported, including at least eight that occurred after the initial recall, the commission said on Monday. The commission repeated its advice to customers to immediately stop using the product, which lulls babies to sleep in a cloth-covered crib, and to contact Fisher-Price for refunds or vouchers. The ties were sold for between $40 and $149, the commission said.

A spokeswoman for Mattel, parent company of Fisher-Price, said Tuesday that the company stopped selling the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper when the recall was announced in April 2019. “Since then, the company has worked diligently to remove all products recalled. market,” spokeswoman Catherine Frymark said. “Today’s new announcement serves as a critical reminder to consumers and retailers that they must not use, sell or donate recalled Rock ‘n Play.”

Fisher-Price said it was unable to confirm the circumstances of some of the deaths or that the product involved was a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, according to the commission.

The commission on Monday also issued a renewed warning about a similar product, the Kids2 Rocking Sleeper. He said 15 deaths have been linked to the product, including four that were reported after nearly 700,000 of the rockers were initially recalled in 2019.

Dr. Lois Lee, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ board on injury, violence and poisoning prevention, said it is heartbreaking that more babies have died since the products were initially recalled. She said the commission should be able to warn the public about dangerous products without industry approval.

“It just underscores how much more difficult it is to remove millions of hazardous products from homes than it is to never allow them to be sold in the first place,” said Dr. Lee, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. . “While the CPSC now has stricter rules for any new infant sleep products and a ban on all inclined sleepers, these protections cannot undo the tragic losses that families have suffered with a recalled product.”

The commission said in June that babies should never sleep on tilted products such as rocking chairs, pacifiers or swings because of the risk of suffocation. He issued a rule last year requiring children’s sleeping products to have a surface angle of no more than 10 degrees. The best way for a baby to sleep, the commission said, is on its back, on a firm, flat surface, such as a crib or carrycot, which, unlike slanted sleepers, have strict safety standards. Babies should sleep with only a sheet and no pillows or blankets, the commission said.

While the recall was effective in halting Rock ‘n Play sales, some remain in use. In 2019, following the recall, the US Public Interest Research Group in Philadelphia teamed up with Kids in Danger, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the safety of children’s products, to see how many daycare centers may still be using unsafe slanted sleepers. , including the collected Rock’n Play. Of 376 licensed day care centers in three states, one in 10 that had children younger than 12 months said they still used the sleepers, according to the survey.

Other Fisher-Price products have been recalled in recent years. In 2021, the company retired its Rock ‘n Glide 4-in-1 soother, after it was linked to four infant deaths between April 2019 and February 2020, and its 2-in-1 Soothe ‘n Play hang glider, although no deaths have been reported. been reported in relation to this product. In 2022, the company recalled its baby-to-toddler and newborn-to-toddler rocking chair after 13 deaths occurred in the products between 2009 and 2021.

Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat and member of the House subcommittee focused on consumer protection, urged consumers to get rid of any recalled products.

“Consumer safety is one of my top priorities,” she said, “and I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure the CPSC has the resources it needs to protect consumers and ensure that we disclose dangerous products. .”