The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) believes that the popular Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play, which generated about $4.5 million in sales in 2018, can rock a baby into a deadly sleep.
Fisher-Price issued a statement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Friday, April 5, acknowledging 10 infant deaths in the sleeper since 2015, some resulting from asphyxia, or the inability to breathe due to lack of oxygen to the body. They urged parents and pediatric caretakers to heed safety guidelines, noting that the product is not recommended for infants who have learned to roll over and stating that all of the infants who died had passed that milestone.
An ongoing Consumer Reports investigation announced Monday, April 8, however, has linked the Rock ’n Play to the deaths of at least 32 infants since its launch--some of them younger than three months old, the age at which babies typically begin to roll over.
Parents flocked to the product en masse due to its inherently flame-resistant polyester, expecting it to be safe.
Photo: Fé Ngô on Unsplash
Fisher-Price told Consumer Reports in a statement, “The loss of a child is a devastating tragedy. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that parents and caregivers have the information necessary to create a safe sleep environment for infants.”
Kyle Yasuda, MD, president of AAP, cited both responses when he set forth a warning about the product’s unsafe conditions on Tuesday, April 9.
“This product is deadly and should be recalled immediately,” he said. “When parents purchase a product for their baby or child, many assume that if it’s being sold in a store, it must be safe to use. Tragically, that is not the case. There is convincing evidence that the Rock ’n Play inclined sleeper puts infants’ lives at risk, and CPSC must step up and take immediate action to remove it from stores and prevent further tragedies.”
AAP does not recommend any products like the Rock ’n Play and publicly cautions parents and caregivers to refrain from using car seats, strollers, or any other constraining equipment when a baby is drifting off to sleep.
Other pediatric professionals are also speaking out against Rock ’n Plays. One customer posted a review on Amazon after she purchased the product, mentioning that use of the sleeper contributed to her child’s diagnosis of plagiocephaly, or flatness of the head, and that the physical therapist her child sees for this condition for says the Rock ’n Play “keeps her in business.”
Although no recall has been set in place, AAP and Fisher-Price are currently advocating for pediatric healthcare and safety. Click here for more information.
Victoria Giardina is an 18 student at The College of New Jersey pursuing a Major in Journalism and Professional Writing with a Minor in Communication Studies. Victoria's favorite movie is The Greatest Showman and you can never find her without her planner! As the founder of Kick It Cancer (www.kickitcancer.org) and a news anchor for her campus-wide news station- LTV News, Victoria steps up for community outreach, leadership, and creative storytelling. In the future, Victoria hopes to work in the broadcasting industry in New York City.