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Fisher-Price, CPSC warns on baby rockers after 13 deaths

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Fisher-Price and federal product safety regulators are warning parents not to fall asleep on some rockers after at least 13 deaths have been reported over a 12-year period.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Tuesday that caregivers on infant toddler rockers or newborn toddlers rockers should not be monitored, uncontrolled, or sleeping, citing new rules requiring infant sleep products to have a sleep surface angle of 10. Degrees or less.

The rockers in question come with reclining seats, which are designed to swing the baby back and forth to rest. However, the reclining position may put the baby at risk of choking and is contrary to guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which implies that infants should lie on their backs in an empty crib or bassinet. Additional items such as pillows or toys can also increase the risk of choking.

“Any favored product made by Fisher-Price or any other company is not safe for infants to sleep. Only a smooth, flat surface is safe,” CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said in a statement, which passed the Congress Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which was passed by Congress last month.

Trumka cited the restoration of April 2019, which includes another Fisher-Price product, Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, which has linked the organization to more than 30 infant deaths. It also has slope seating and some models come with headrests and toys.

At the time of that restoration, Fisher-Price had produced 4.7 million units of sleeper, which were sold for $ 40 to $ 149 each. For parents struggling to put their babies to sleep, this is a popular alternative to high-end bassinets.

The sloppy sleep surface is only justified when there is a medical need consultation with the child’s health care provider, said Janna Day, coordinator of the Empty Children’s Hospital Injury Prevention Project in Des Moines.

This does not mean that caregivers should not use such products; They are considered safe when used under adult supervision and properly used by the child. “They’re more of an area for a child to sit on, maybe play with their toys,” Day said, but it’s not advisable to sleep.

Pamela Springs, communications director at CPSC, said the agency issued a safety alert, not a recovery, because the incidents are still under investigation. Once that is complete, the agency will determine whether the restoration is justified.

Separately, the CPSC has issued a warning about the 2019 infant deaths related to the rocker favored by infant manufacturer Kids II.

Trumka said the agency first learned about the infant’s death two months ago, but needed to talk to Fisher-Price about the response before it was made public. He condemned the “unnecessary” delay and called the need a “gag rule.”

“Congress should immediately repeal the gag rule,” he said in a statement. “If the CPSC is unable to issue timely warnings, the risks remain hidden in people’s homes.”

In some cases, negotiations between security regulators and companies are broken, forcing the agency to take action. In July 2021, for example, CPSC sued Amazon over hundreds of thousands of hazardous products sold on the company’s platform, including defective carbon monoxide detectors and flammable children’s bedding. The company was unable to come to an agreement with the company to voluntarily withdraw after months of behind-the-scenes negotiations. (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post.)

Members of the public can report any incidents involving baby rockers at www.saferproducts.gov. Customers can reach Fisher-Price at 800-432-5437 to report related incidents and watch safety videos on the company’s Safe Start webpage.

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