Products are constantly introduced to the marketplace, and others are phased out. For instance, infant inclined sleepers weren’t invented until Fisher-Price came up with the category over a decade ago. It’s tragic and mind-boggling that so many infant deaths have occurred in inclined sleepers. But not really, considering that the first sleeper came to market without medical safety testing or input from a pediatrician, and got the green light by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Since that time, so many inclined sleepers have been recalled and new products, maybe with a slightly different design, found their way into the market place, on the store shelf and into your home. Now, however, it’s time to say No More!
For instance, The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled all Kids II Rocking Sleepers – all 36 models. “Since the 2012 product introduction, five infant fatalities have occurred in the Kids II Rocking Sleepers, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach while unrestrained, or under other circumstances,” says CPSC. Then there’s Graco’s Little Lounger Rocket Seat, Summer Infant’s “SwaddleMe By Your Bed” and Evenflo’s Pilo Portable Napper…Wait, there’s more!
In July 2019, Dorel Juvenile Group USA recalled its Eddie Bauer Slumber and Soothe Rock Bassinet/Rocker; Disney Baby Doze and Dream Bassinet/Rocker. Just three months earlier Fisher Price recalled about 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers. In fact, the CPSC and four different companies have recalled over 165,000 infant inclined sleepers since January 2020. All these sleepers were recalled to prevent risk of suffocation. In its Summer Infant recall, “Infant fatalities have been reported with other manufacturers’ inclined sleep products, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side, or under other circumstances,” according to news releases from the CPSC on January 29, and reported by CNN Health.
Isn’t it time to figure out that warnings and recalls aren’t enough, and the best prevention is simply to stop making inclined sleepers? A recalled product doesn’t necessarily mean that it is taken off the market.
Sadly, not everyone heeds warnings and recalls. And celebrities such as Kim Kardashian can make it harder for consumers to give up their inclined sleepers. Kardashian-West posted to her 158 million followers on Instagram and Twitter a photo of baby Psalm on the kitchen table, buckled into Baby Delight, the Nestle Nook Portable Infant Lounger. In June 2019, Consumer Reports listed this product, along with several other sleepers, to its list of “Inclined Sleepers to Avoid”.
What’s In a Name?
Consumer Reports (CR) recently asked Baby Delight why it changed the name of its Nestle Nook Portable Napper product from “Napper” to “Lounger.” A spokesperson said the name was updated to “better reflect the use of the product. Most times the product is used for just lounging around the house and not necessarily for napping. On the majority of our packaging and marketing materials we show awake babies,” adding that Kardashian’s Instagram post shows her baby awake, not napping.
Which is an important point, because napping in this lounger is a possible suffocation hazard. Napping could be seen as sleeping. And that is how the company has pretty much avoided a recall.
Ben Hoffman, M.D., chairman of the Council on Injury, Violence and Poison Prevention at the American Academy of Pediatrics , told CR that “Just taking the word ‘napper’ or ‘sleeper’ out of the name doesn’t change the risk… In the case of infant inclined sleepers, biomechanical research has shown that at a very basic physiologic level, sleeping at an angle puts babies at risk.”
Nancy Cowles, executive director with the nonprofit organization Kids in Danger agrees with Hoffman. “Calling a product a lounger—the same name used for the Nap Nanny, which has been tied to six infant deaths—doesn’t mean parents won’t use it for sleep.”
Parents are urged to get in contact with the CPSC at www.SaferProducts.gov to report any sleeper incidents. And you may want to seek legal help. Attorney Jeffrey Killino is not only an experienced lawyer — he is also a child advocate. When a child injury or death occurs because of a faulty sleeper he has the know-how and resources to guide you through the legal process to get what you and your family are entitled to. If your child has suffered a traumatic injury because of a company’s negligence, contact Jeffrey Killino today at 877-875-2927.
And here is more information about inclined sleepers, including Inclined Sleeper Guidelines.