The American Academy of Pediatrics ― a group of 67,000 children’s health providers nationwide ― is publicly urging the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue an immediate recall of the Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleeper inclined sleeper, following a new analysis by Consumer Reports that links the “sleeper” to 32 sleep-related infant deaths.
After the Consumer Reports piece, the CPSC and Fisher-Price issued a joint warning on April 5 telling parents to stop using the Rock ’n Play by the time their babies are 3 months old, or when their babies can roll over. The company emphasized that the product meets “all applicable safety standards.”
But the AAP says the warning did not go far enough to protect babies.
“AAP urges parents to stop using the product immediately,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday. “Stores should remove the Rock ’n Play Sleeper from their shelves.”
Fisher-Price has sold various versions of the Rock ’n Play sleeper since it came to market in 2009. Some models include a feature that automatically rocks the inclined sleeper with a button; others vibrate or rock manually. All Rock ’n Plays also come with a harness restraint belt.
The sleeper conflicts with the AAP’s recommendations for safe sleep environments for babies in order to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The AAP says infants should be placed on their backs on a firm, flat mattress and away from soft bedding and bumper pads.
The AAP noted in its statement calling for the immediate recall of the Rock ’n Play that it does not recommend putting sleeping babies in any products that require restraints, including car seats or even strollers. Babies can get into unsafe positions and be unable to move themselves, the group says.
Parenting forums have long been filled with comments from parents raving that the inclined position of the Rock ’n Play helps their babies sleep but wondering whether it is safe.
In its new recommendation that parents stop using the Rock ’n Play when their babies are 3 months old ― or can roll over ― the CPSC and Fisher-Price cited 10 infant deaths that occurred in the Rock ’n Play, all of which were in babies age 3 months or older.
However, the Consumer Reports article linked 32 deaths to the Rock ’n Play, including the 10 noted in last week’s warning. According to the report, some of those babies were younger than the 3-month cutoff called for in the CPSC and Fisher-Price warning ― a discrepancy the AAP called “alarming.”
“We cannot put any more children’s lives at risk by keeping these dangerous products on the shelves,” Dr. Rachel Moon, chair of the AAP Task Force on SIDS, said in the statement. “The Rock ’n Play inclined sleeper should be removed from the market immediately.”