Product Liability Lawyer and Wrongful Death Attorney investigating Rock ‘N Play Recalls and accidents and representing plaintiffs nationwide in Fisher Price Lawsuits
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Fisher-Price have now warned the public that the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper may be linked to infant deaths when babies roll over in the product. The CPSC has been alerted of at least ten infant deaths associated with Rock ‘n Play accidents since 2015, yet the potentially dangerous and deadly product remained on the market for several years.
Accidents and deaths have allegedly occurred when infants rolled from their backs onto their stomachs and sides and suffocated. As a result, the CPSC issued a warning for consumers to stop using the product when an infant is older than three months or when a baby exhibits rollover capabilities. Safety agencies have warned consumers to use restraints in infant inclined sleep products to reduce the risks of infant sleep deaths. The Rock N Play has since been recalled.
Fisher-Price confirmed they are aware of the reported fatalities since the sleeper was introduced in 2009, but the company does not believe that the accidents were caused by the product, saying medical and health conditions were identified as the cause of death, and that the product was used “in a manner contrary to the safety warnings and instructions.”
Joe Lyon is an Ohio product liability attorney and catastrophic injury lawyer reviewing Rock N Play recall accidents, Fisher Price Lawsuits and consumer safety claims for plaintiffs nationwide.
Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play Recalls & Accidents
Warnings have come and gone, and yet reported infant deaths continue, demonstrating the necessary recall may have only come too late. The product is equipped with a three-point harness restraint, though is not always utilized by consumers. Though the CPSC and Fisher-Price remind consumers to create a safe sleep environment for babies in cribs, cradles, bassinets and sleepers, reminding parents to never add blankets, pillows, or stuffed toys, some dangerous products are allowed to remain on the market.
A Consumer Reports investigation regarding the Rock ’n Play Sleeper accidents found the device linked to at least 32 infant deaths, several more than reported by the CPSC or Fisher Price. The investigation identified infant deaths involving babies younger than the 3-month threshold cited in the company’s warning. The Consumer Reports investigation centers on previously undisclosed CPSC data, Fisher Price lawsuits, interviews with medical experts, product safety engineers, and parents.
Some medical experts say babies should be placed flat on their back alone and free of soft bedding, not at an incline, which helps to minimize the risk of accidental suffocation. The Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play does not follow this recommendation.
Safe Infant Sleep & Suffocation Risks
The Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play is marketed to consumers as suitable for “all-night sleep,” though medical experts do not recommend it for sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics says it does not recommend products for sleep that require restraints, especially if the product moves.
The earliest death linked to a Rock ‘N Play accident may have occurred in 2011, involving a 2-month old child, who died from positional asphyxia, or an inability to breathe. Other deaths have been reported involving a one-month-old girl, and the other a 9-day-old boy.
Health and safety agencies in other nations have questioned Fisher-Price about their sleep products. As early as 2011, Australian regulators expressed concerns and noted that the product marketing “is at odds with widely accepted and promoted best practices that these types of products should not be used as an infant bedding alternative.” They also questioned the product’s angle, saying “babies’ heads can easily fall forward in a way that obstructs their airways.”
Fisher-Price says it started developing the Rock ’n Play Sleeper in part because one of its designers had a baby with trouble sleeping because of acid reflux. The designer’s doctors suggested elevating the infant’s head. There is controversy over the safety of such positional sleeping. Fisher-Price insists the Rock ’n Play Sleeper presents a lower risk of suffocation than alternative like cribs and cradles.
But the AAP and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development counsel against infants sleeping unsupervised in a reclined position. One AAP official stated, “We don’t recommend that babies are placed to sleep with their heads elevated because that is a position that would be subject to accidental suffocation [and] strangulation.” Experts add that parents should avoid using a car seat, stroller, or swing for unsupervised sleep.
Fisher Price Lawsuits & Preventable Infant Deaths
The Rock ‘N Play sleeper has now been recalled by Fisher-Price and Mattel, which may have taken advantage of the fact that the CPSC has no specific safety standards for inclined sleepers. The previous safety alert followed a previous one from the CPSC about a year ago, warning consumers about infant deaths associated with inclined sleep products, but failed to name a specific product in the past. The CPSC told investigators the agency is “continuing to evaluate the product and investigate whether it contains a defect,” though has yet to determine enough to recall the product even after so many infant deaths.
If a loved one has suffered and injury or preventable death related to a defective sleeper like the Fisher Price Rock ‘N Play, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, a child safety attorney, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding Rock N Play recalls and potential Fisher Price lawsuits.