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Menendez seeks answers from Fisher-Price from Deadly Infant Rockers

Washington, DC. – Rockers manufactured by US Senators Bob Menendez (DN.J.) have joined at least 13 infant deaths between 2009 and 2021, then joined a bipartisan group of colleagues seeking answers from Fisher-Price. Last week, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Warned About the dangers of two types of Fisher-Price rockers for at least 13 infant deaths between 2009 and 2021.

“[W]There are e-questions about how Fisher Price handled product and death reports and why this information failed to reach the CPSC, Legislators write to Fischer-Price parent company Mattel CEO Yannan Kriege. “It is clear that even after the CPSC became aware of infant mortality, Fisher Price attempted to delay the release of this data to the public. This is not acceptable. ”

In his letter, members of Congress stressed the need to strengthen the CPSC’s authority so that warnings about dangerous products and their recovery can be issued more quickly. The CPSC has the authority to retrieve products that harm consumers, whether that damage may be attributable to the design of the product or due to anticipated misconduct.

“Fisher Price’s actions or inactivations provide the perfect context for why CPSC’s authority to reinstate and warn consumers, independently of manufacturers, should be improved. […] For a company that claims to be the most trusted brand for parents and caregivers of infants, toddlers and preschoolers, it’s shocking that your company continues to let down customers in such a tragic way. Fisher Price’s actions or inactivations provide the perfect context for why the CPSC’s authority to restore and alert consumers independently of manufacturers should be strengthened and improved. Added lawmakers.

Sen in signing the letter. Accompanied by Menendez Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Ossoff (D-Ga.), And Edward J. Wm. Markey (D-Mass.) And U.S. Representatives John Shakowski (D-Ill.), Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-Calif.) DDC), Jahanna Hayes (D-Conn.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Oregon), Lori Trahan (D-Mass.), And Don Bayer Jr. (D-Va.).

The full text of the letter can be found here and below.

Dear Mr. Kreez,

We are writing today about the recent announcement of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Fisher Price, that Fisher Price’s infant toddler rockers and newborn toddlers (hereafter: “rockers”) have been linked to a multitude of deaths over the past decade. This is an alarming and devastating publication, and it relates to the deaths of tens of thousands of babies just a few years after your company Rock ‘n Play was recovered. The long period of these deaths and the delay in delivering this information to consumers — perhaps leading to more deaths — again raises significant concerns about how your company values ​​the safety of our children.

On your website, you describe the infant toddler rocker as follows: “The Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker Starts as an Infant Rocker or Stationary Seat With Bat-At Toys Overhead. Convertible… and with two comfortable reclining seats, calming vibrations and a machine-washable seat pad, what’s not to love? ” Clearly, there is a lot to love. On June 14, 2022, CPSC and Fisher Price jointly issued a warning to consumers of at least 13 infant deaths related to 17 million rockers sold worldwide between 2009 and 2021. Educating consumers and submitting reports on SaferProducts.gov are likely to lead to more deaths.

Any infant mortality associated with this product is devastating, regardless of whether the product is designed to be used or used as a sleep product by parents. The latter is not an unexpected use if you give multiple consumer reviews describing the “calming vibrations” and product that your company claims have helped rock babies fall asleep.[4] And given the delay in releasing this information to the public, we have questions about how Fisher Price handled product and death reports and why this information failed to reach the CPSC.[5] It is clear that Fisher Price tried to delay the release of this data to the public even after the CPSC became aware of the infant’s death. CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka, Jr., said the CPSC “fought an uphill battle to release this information to warn parents and caregivers.” This is not acceptable.

In addition, we have significant concerns that Fisher Price is trying to delay additional enforcement action, such as the reinstatement that CPSC may take to protect consumers. The CPSC has the authority to retrieve products that harm consumers, whether that damage may be attributable to the design of the product or due to anticipated misconduct. For a company that claims to be “the most trusted brand for parents and caregivers of babies, toddlers and preschoolers,” it’s shocking that your company continues to let down customers in such a tragic manner. Fisher Price’s actions or inactivations provide the perfect context for why the CPSC’s authority to restore and alert consumers independently of manufacturers should be strengthened and improved.

If this product is notable for families, we request you to answer the following questions on behalf of Fisher Price:

1. When was Fisher Price first notified of deaths related to infant toddler rockers and / or newborn toddler rockers?

2. When did Fisher Price report these deaths before the CPSC?

3. Have additional reports of injuries associated with the use of rockers been received following the release of the Fisher Price product?

4. Please describe the circumstances under which each of the deaths and injuries occurred.

5. Fisher Price Send a list of all the deaths and injuries of the known juvenile product category so far (the baby is placed on awake or sleep time).

6. Please provide a copy of all Fisher Price’s marketing materials for the rockers from 1990 to the present.

A. Did Fisher Price, at any point, sell these rockers as sleep products? This list should include any reference to selling rockers as “calming,” “calming.”

7. Please clarify the language in the Rocker’s Instruction Manual (“HBD25”) and refer to “The product is not safe for unsupervised use or unattended sleep.” Does Fisher Price believe the rocker is safe for babies to sleep when monitored?

8. As of June 21, 2022, the infant toddler rocker is available for sale on your website without any explicit product warning.

A. Please describe the work that Fisher Price is undertaking to alert customers of this warning along with the June 14, 2022 press release.

B. Describe the work that Fisher Price is undertaking to alert retailers about this warning, along with a June 14, 2022 press release.

9. Does your company support efforts to provide product safety information to customers as quickly as possible by improving the CPSC’s ability to independently reinstate and issue product alerts without the need to negotiate with manufacturers?

Given the serious circumstances, we respectfully request the answer to these questions by July 8, 2022.

Pronounce,

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