Defective Product Lawyer

The total number of infants who have died in incline sleepers is now up from 37 to at least 50 (, according to Consumer Reports (CR). These additional deaths were reported after an original investigation by CR into deaths associated with these types of products was released.

While two producers of such items–Kids II and Fisher-Price–have since recalled the dangerous products, other manufacturers are still selling similar products that carry the same risks. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, these incline sleepers increase the risk of an infant’s suffocation and airway compression; babies need to be put to sleep on their backs and on a firm, flat surface.

Back in April, Fisher-Price issued a recall for all of its 4.7 million “Rock ‘n Play” Sleepers, while Kids II recalled all 694,000 of its inclined sleepers.

A document recently released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) states that 50 deaths have now been linked to rocker-style inclined sleepers, but these safety concerns have reportedly been on the commission’s radar for years. An inclined sleeper called the “Nap Nanny” was previously associated with six deaths, the first one being in 2010. It was fully recalled by 2013.

Despite the growing alarm over these types of sleepers, many major manufacturers–such as Evenflo and Baby Delight–still sell inclined sleep products. The CPSC has not taken any action against these similar products despite the likelihood of similar tragic outcomes for some infants and their parents.

The fate of the inclined sleepers has been left largely to ASTM International, an organization of consumers, medical experts, government officials and manufacturers who work together to set voluntary standards for a variety of processes and products in the industry. However, in May, the ASTM subcommittee handling the sleepers decided that instead of pulling the category from the market, it would investigate the potential hazards and standards of such products and reconvene in October 2019. This means that in the meantime, these types of sleepers will be available for consumers to buy.

While the industry and the CPSC delay their next move regarding the sleepers, some members of Congress are trying to take immediate action by bringing legislation forward to end the sale of inclined sleepers. However, it is too early to tell whether their efforts will be successful.

Lack of proper testing raising concerns

Fisher-Price has now been the subject of several lawsuits over its Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, and court documents in those cases have shown that the company knew about the risks prior to the CR report and that the product was never adequately tested for safety. The only medical professional contacted about its safety before it hit shelves in 2009 was a family physician who was not a sleep specialist or even a pediatrician and has since lost his license to practice medicine.