The Consumer Product Safety Commission ordered the recall of nearly 5 million Rock 'n Play sleepers made by Mattel's Fisher-Price as the product was linked to over 30 infant deaths.
Consumers are warned to immediately stop using the sleepers and to contact Fisher-Price for refund or voucher. The recall affects all models of the product.
According to CPSC, infant fatalities have occurred in Rock 'n Play Sleepers after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.
Fisher-Price said it stands by the safety of its product, but due to the reported incidents of infant deaths, it decided to conduct the voluntary recall in partnership with the CPSC.
Deadly For Babies
The order comes a week after the American Academy of Pediatricians urged the CPSC to immediately recall the products, citing convincing evidence that the Rock 'n Play inclined sleeper puts infants' lives at risk.
"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. Tragically, that is not the case," said Dr. Kyle Yasuda, president of the AAP.
An investigation of Consumer Reports concluded that the inclined sleeper had been tied to a total of 32 infant deaths that occurred since 2009. The reported cause of death for some babies was asphyxia, or the inability to breathe caused by the babies' sleeping position.
Danger Of Sleepers
According to the AAP, the Rock n' Play sleeper and other inclined sleep products that require restraining a baby increases the risk that a baby could roll or turn into an unsafe position, and be incapable of moving. This could lead to suffocation or strangulation.
Inclined sleep products also do not align with the recommendations of AAP that babies should be put on their backs on a flat, firm surface during night time or prolonged sleep.
"We don't recommend that babies are placed to sleep with their heads elevated because that is a position that would be subject to accidental suffocation [and] strangulation in bed," said Lori Feldman-Winter of the AAP task force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
The association also urges the CPSC to investigate all other inclined sleepers as it maintained that manufacturers should pull the products off the market.
AAP advises all parents to talk to pediatricians about how to keep babies safe during sleep time and at any time.
In December 2017, Evan and Keenan Overton lost their then 5-month-old baby Ezra due to asphyxia. Ezra was asleep in the Rock n' Play while his father, Keenan, slept on a couch next to him. When Keenan woke in the middle of the night, he found his son unresponsive. The baby was lying on the sleeper with his face down, his nose squished down, and his face was already blue.
Fisher-Price has been facing several lawsuits related to infant deaths involving the Rock n' Play.