The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has demanded that Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper be recalled after a Consumer Reports investigation linked the sleeper to 32 deaths. According to that report:
The earliest death that CR uncovered occurred in 2011, with more in the years that followed. There is, for example, the mother in Hidalgo County, Texas, who placed her 2-month old daughter on her back for a night’s sleep on Oct. 19, 2013, according to a lawsuit filed by the family against Fisher-Price. At 4 a.m., when the mother checked, all was well, but by 7 a.m., the baby had stopped breathing. Her head was tilted to the side with her chin on her shoulder, compressing her airway. She was pronounced dead at the scene from positional asphyxia, or an inability to breathe caused by her position.
The issue appears to be linked to the design of the Rock ‘n Play sleeper. The AAP says the design causes asphyxia, or the lack of ability to breathe, based on the baby’s position in the sleeper. Announcing their demand for a recall, Dr. Rachel Moon, chair of the AAP Task Force on SIDS, said, “We cannot put any more children’s lives at risk by keeping these dangerous products on the shelves. 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.”
The AAP’s call for a recall came a week after the Consumer Product Safety Commission asked customers to stop using the sleeper if their children are able to roll over in it. As for Fisher-Price, CNN reports that Chuck Scothon, the general manager at Fisher-Price, said the sleeper meets all “applicable safety standards” and that the “safety of children is our highest priority. The loss of a child is tragic and heartbreaking.”
The company has yet to issue a recall.