Fisher-Price cradle has been linked to 30 infant deaths

PHOTO: U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION

NEW YORK • Fisher-Price has recalled all 4.7 million of its Rock 'n Play sleepers, 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 United States Consumer Product Safety Commission said consumers should stop using the sleeper immediately and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or a voucher.

An employee at the Singapore distributor for Fisher-Price confirmed that it does not bring in the recalled Rock 'n Play sleepers for distribution in Singapore.

Major US 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 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 last 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 last year, including some involving children younger than three months.

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

Representative Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat and chairman of the House sub-committee focused on consumer protection, added to the outcry last 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".

Mr Jonathan Sorkowitz, a lawyer for a family whose three-month-old daughter died in a Rock 'n Play in September last year, 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.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 14, 2019, with the headline 'This cradle has been linked to 30 infant deaths'. Print Edition | Subscribe