Despite being recalled in 2019, more child deaths are still associated with the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n’ Play sleep harness.
According to Consumer Reports, the reason Mattel, the parent company of Fisher-Price and another recalled sleep harness brand, Kids2, has not done enough to warn parents who still have the products in their homes.
The devices were recalled in April 2019 after being linked to at least 36 deaths, Consumer Reports said at the time.
The agency now says at least 12 more children have since died as a result of the harnesses and the total number of deaths from both the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n’ Play and Kids2 recliners is nearly 100.
All deaths occurred while the babies were in the sleeper and died of suffocation caused by the product’s 30-degree inclination. All other sleepers on the market are flat.
The Fisher-Price baby recliner shown on the left and the Kids2 harness shown on the right
Lauren Kirchner, of Consumer Reports, told NBC Miami, “These sleepers place babies on an inclined sleeping surface, and that increases the risk of suffocation if their head falls forward on their chest while they sleep.”
She added: “Unfortunately, the news that more babies have died means that while the slanted sleepers cannot be legally sold, they are still being used in people’s homes.”
Kirchner said when a recall occurs, it’s up to the manufacturer to notify members of the public who have already purchased the product of the dangers.
One of the parents who has come out after the death of their child in a Fisher-Price harness was Erika Richter of Oregon. Her daughter, Emma, died on August 15, 2018, when she was just a few weeks old.
Life on Earth is tragically short. I choose to explore it all and live a life that would make her proud. That little angel changed my life forever. I will always be Emma’s mother. Now and forever,” Richter said in a Facebook post.
Erika Richter, from Oregon, holds her newborn daughter Emma in 2018, who also died
Erika Richter died on August 15, 2008, having been born less than two weeks earlier
Erika Richter’s daughter Emma also died in the Rock ‘n Play
Another set of parents, Keenan and Evan Overton, said their son Ezra died when he was just five months old after strapping him into the harness while they were working out in December 2017.
They received the product from their neighbors as a hand-me-down gift.
“I stayed out in the living room and lay down on the sofa next to the rocker, telling my wife to get some rest in the bedroom,” his father told the Kids In Danger website.
“When I awoke in the middle of the night, I looked up and saw Ezra, transformed into the monkey’s stuffed face, sitting up in the seat of the chair. He was stiff as a doll, with his face turned to the side/back of the chair. His nose was squashed. He didn’t respond. He didn’t really feel. When I picked him up, he felt like a doll.’
Keenan and Evan Overton’s five-month-old baby died in December 2017 while sleeping in the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play product
Baby Ezra died in December 2017 after his parents, Keenan and Evan Overton, put him to sleep while playing sports. They received the product from their neighbors as a hand-me-down gift.
Consumer Reports said less than ten percent of Fisher-Price Rock ‘n’ Play harnesses are accounted for, leaving about four million potentially left in people’s homes.
Mattel is quoted by the agency as saying it has “worked diligently to remove all recalled products from the market” since the original recall.
The Fisher-Price product was first launched in 2009.
A total of 4.7 million units were affected by the recall, according to the CPSC, which re-released the article’s recall earlier in January.
“We are making this announcement because, despite being withdrawn from the market and a ban on their sale, babies are still dying in these products,” Alexander Hoehn-Saric, chair of the Consumer Product Safety Committee, said in a statement. .
The original recall didn’t happen until CPSC told Consumer Reports about the product-related deaths in early 2019
He warned families who still have the sleepers to stop using them immediately.
“We now know of about 100 child deaths in the Rock n’ Play, including eight that occurred after the recall was announced,” Hoehn-Saric said.
The original recall didn’t happen until CPSC told Consumer Reports in early 2019 about the product-related deaths.
It has released data supporting its findings. Only then was the product taken off the market.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep on their backs on a flat surface.
Two federal class action lawsuits have been filed against Fisher-Price and its parent company Mattel for allegedly dangerous and flawed designs and negligence.
A lawsuit filed by Cassandra Mulvey against Fisher Price and Mattel alleges that the marketing of the product was “dangerously false and misleading as the product is not safe for babies to sleep through the night or for extended periods of time.”
The lawsuit suggests that the ‘Rock ‘n Play’ significantly increases the risk of a baby’s head being put in a dangerous position, tilting to constrict the trachea and/or causing the baby’s face to hit the padded fabric in the sleeper is pressed and blocks the airflow. increasing the risk of death from suffocation.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the angle at which children would rest in the sleeper “increases the child’s risk of developing flat head (plagiocephaly) and twisted neck (torticollis) syndromes, conditions that often require babies to wear expensive head-shaping helmets and physical to undergo effort. therapy.’
Another lawsuit was filed by Samantha Drover-Mundy and Zachary Mundy, a Delaware couple, after their 12-week-old daughter reportedly died in September 2018 after just a few minutes in a Rock ‘n Play sleeper.
In addition to their daughter’s death, the lawsuit alleges that “the Rock ‘n Play’s flawed design also causes injuries…that require costly medical treatment and can cause lifelong damage, including permanent deformities and developmental delays.”
The lawsuits also allege that both Fisher-Price and Mattel ignored the AAP’s recommendations regarding appropriate sleeping environments for infants.
In addition, they alleged that the defendants lobbied the CPSC to have them circumvent regulations that would have kept the product off the market.
In 2021, a two-year investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform found that Fisher Price executives ignored safety warnings about the company’s popular ramp sleeper for a decade while it racked up $200 million in sales.
The commission’s report found that Fisher Price failed to properly test the product before launching it on the market in 2009 and then ignored repeated warnings that it was dangerous in the years that followed.