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Physicians urge company to recall infant sleeper after deaths

In April, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a sternly worded statement calling for Fisher-Price to "immediately" recall its "Rock 'n Play Sleeper." The device is marketed to help fussy infants fall asleep, but as many as 32 babies' deaths have been linked to the portable bassinets.

The Academy's call to action came after Consumer Reports attributed the 32 infant deaths to use of the product. A week prior, Fisher-Price and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) addressed the claims. Fisher-Price then admitted that 10 infants who were more than 3 months old had died during use of their device.

The company warned caregivers and parents of infants that they should not use the sleeper for babies who can roll over. Most babies hit that developmental milestone at about 3 months of age.

More action needed

Doctors are concerned that the warning does not go far enough to protect vulnerable infants. The president of the AAP in a statement said, "This product is deadly and should be recalled immediately."

Also chiming in was the chairperson for the AAP Task Force on SIDS. Her statement read, in part:

"The Rock 'n Play inclined sleeper should be removed from the market immediately. It does not meet the AAP's recommendations for a safe sleep environment for any baby. Infants should always sleep on their back, on a separate, flat and firm sleep surface without any bumpers or bedding."

Deaths occurred before 3 months

Consumer Reports allege that their own investigation revealed that some of the babies who died were younger than 3 months. They also stated that instead of just the 10 deaths, Fisher-Price confirmed the company knew of all 32 fatalities that were linked to parents' use of the Rock 'n Play Sleepers to get their infants to fall asleep. The deaths reportedly occurred over the 10-year period between 2009 and 2019 — the years when the device was available on the market for purchase by consumers.

Companies liable for dangerous products

It does not appear as if Fisher-Price is acting with sufficient urgency to protect helpless infants from the danger that their product presents. If you are a parent of an infant who suffered adverse consequences from the use of the product, you may want to determine what your legal rights are in the matter.

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