Fisher-Price recalls Rock 'n Play sleeper linked to infant deaths

VIDEO: REUTERS
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said consumers should stop using the Rock 'n Play sleeper immediately and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or a voucher.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said consumers should stop using the Rock 'n Play sleeper immediately and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or a voucher. PHOTO: NYTIMES

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Fisher-Price recalled all of its 4.7 million Rock 'n Play sleepers on Friday (April 12), days after a group of paediatricians urged its parent company, Mattel, to stop selling the product amid reports linking it to multiple infant deaths.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said consumers should stop using the sleeper immediately and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or a voucher. Major retailers sell the product for US$40 (S$54) to US$149, according to the agency.

The voluntary move by Fisher-Price was a reversal for the company, which issued a joint safety warning with the product safety commission last week after the commission said it was aware of 10 deaths since 2015 of children three months or older linked to the sleeper. In most cases, the children suffocated after rolling over in the sleeper from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained.

Mattel said in a statement on Friday that it stood by the safety of its products but agreed to the voluntary recall "due to reported incidents in which the product was used contrary to the safety warnings and instructions".

A separate investigation by Consumer Reports connected the cloth-covered cradle to 32 infant deaths from 2011 to 2018, including some involving children younger than three months.

On Tuesday, the American Academy of Paediatrics called the sleeper "deadly" and demanded an immediate recall.

Democratic Representative Jan Schakowsky, the chairman of the House subcommittee focused on consumer protection, added to the outcry on Thursday, pushing Mattel to remove the sleeper from stores and websites, saying in a statement that "any delay continues to put more children's lives at risk".

 

Jonathan Sorkowitz, a lawyer for a family whose three-month-old daughter died in a Rock 'n Play in September 2018, said his clients were considering legal action, despite the recall.

"Although this is a necessary and important step, it does not provide justice for the many families who have already been harmed by this dangerous product," he said in an e-mailed statement.