Parents may want to reconsider what they use for nap time.
The baby toy and product company Fisher Price has recalled millions of its Rock ‘n Play sleeper as the product has been linked to at least 30 infant deaths in the past. The company is owned by Mattel, the toy company behind brands like Barbie. The problem with the product is linked to reclined sleepers in general. Experts are warning parents not to purchase reclined sleepers for their infants at all. More than 5 million Rock ‘n Play sleepers have been recalled by the company as of right now.
Why They’re Dangerous
Warnings against inclined sleepers have gone back as far as last June, when organizations began warning parents of the dangers of using the products with their children over 3 months old. Issues with the sleepers are caused by children that are able to roll over onto their stomachs from their backs. Because the kids are restrained in to the sleepers, they’re more likely to suffocate if they can roll onto their stomachs without being noticed.
Many people argued that the risk of death only really applies if the baby is not successfully restrained in the first place. A properly restrained baby would not be able to roll over and suffocate in the reclined sleeper. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics points out that products that require an infant to be restrained in the first place are not suitable for nap time or sleeping. This is because if the baby is able to roll over, it may not be able to move to get itself out of the dangerous position.
The AAP also argues that children should not be strapped into things like car seats or restrained sleepers without supervision for long periods of time. Once children are able to roll over, their risk of becoming intertwined with the restraints and strangling or suffocating themselves increases substantially.
In a statement released by Mattel about the Rock ‘n Play sleeper, the company urged parents to return their product for a refund. At first, the company stood by its product as its instructions explicitly state to make sure the child is properly restrained before leaving it to rest in the sleeper. However, the company reascended its claim and now urges parents to return the product altogether.
The recall of the Rock ‘n Play sleeper by Fisher Price was suggested mostly by the C0nsumer Product Safety Commission. Because Mattel urged the importance of proper restraint, it felt that the product was not at risk for being the technical cause of so many deaths. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission urged Mattel and Fisher Price to go through with the recall because of the issues that restraints pose in the first place.
Parents are being urged not to use reclined sleepers that require children to be restrained into the product. The issue with the Rock ‘n Play sleeper was not specific to that model. Even car seats can pose a threat if children are left in them unattended. As if parents didn’t already have to worry about enough, add car seats to that list.