Fisher-Price, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), is warning parents NOT to use rockers for sleep.
The safety notice, which specifically names Fisher-Price’s Infant-to-Toddler or Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers, comes after at least 13 infant deaths have been associated with these rockers in the past 12 years.
The deaths occurred when the babies fell asleep.
While Fisher-Price and the CPSC are not recalling the products, they are reminding consumers that rockers should never be used for sleep and infants should never be left unsupervised or unrestrained in the Rockers due to the risk of suffocation.
They also remind parents that the best place for an infant to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet, or play yard.
Fisher-Price shared the news of the safety notice on social media, writing in part:
“Consumers are reminded not to use Rockers for infant sleep, that infants should never be unsupervised or unrestrained in Rockers, and that bedding material should not be added to the product.”
— Fisher-Price® (@FisherPrice) June 14, 2022
There was no mention of the 13 deaths.
However, the deaths were at the forefront of a separate statement issued by CPSC commissioner Richard Trumka Jr.
In it he stated:
“Just three years ago, this agency oversaw the recall of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play after a staggering number of infant deaths.
Tragically, we now grieve 13 more infant deaths in Fisher Price Rockers.”
He also gave a disturbing revelation.
Apparently, the agency became aware of the additional 13 deaths more than two months ago. However, the agency wasn’t allowed to warn consumers then because of a “gag rule.”
Gag Rule1 blocks the agency from warning the public without first seeking permission from the product’s maker.
Even though Fisher-Price co-operated with the agency, it was still an “uphill battle to release this information to warn parents and caregivers.”
It should not have taken two months.
#Alert: CPSC and @FisherPrice are alerting consumers to at least 13 reported deaths of infants in Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rockers and Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers. Rockers should never be used for sleep and infants should never be unsupervised or unrestrained in Rockers. pic.twitter.com/xE1xeDYfli
— US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) June 14, 2022
Since the 1990s, over 17 million of these rockers have been sold.
Back in 2019, Fisher-Price recalled nearly 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers after the sleeper was tied to 32 infant deaths.
At the time, the recall stated that the deaths “occurred after the infants rolled over while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.”
Most recently, the company recalled the 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soothers and 2-in-1 Soothe ‘n Play Gliders last June after four infants died.
They cited the risk of suffocation for the recall.
“Hazard: Infants who are placed unrestrained in the product and later found on their stomach are at risk of suffocation.”
Babies under the age of 4 months are unable to roll over on a flat surface. However, the curved shape of the rockers allows them to do so. Additionally, the angle of these rockers can obstruct infants’ airways.
The same is true of the Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker.
The Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker is designed to soothe and calm your baby.
According to the product description on the Fisher-Price website:
“The Fisher-Price® Infant-to-Toddler Rocker is the perfect spot for your baby to kick back and relax. This baby chair starts out as a soothing infant rocker or stationary seat with calming vibrations and 2 bat-at toys overhead.
Then, as baby grows, remove the toy bar and convert the seat to a toddler rocking chair. “
It is meant to be used from birth until the child weighs 40 lb.
According to Fisher-Price’s website, the company is committed to safety. They started a Safe Start education campaign earlier this month.
The campaign is “focused on engaging parents and caregivers in important conversations regarding the safety, health, and development of babies and children.”
The education campaign will feature key safety tips.
It will also include a video series providing parents and caregivers with critical information on a variety of topics. Including, the safe use of products, appropriate environments for sleep, and the proper use of safety restraints.
In addition, the company has also formed the Medical and Scientific Safety Council (MSSC).
The advisory council is comprised of medical experts who “meet regularly with internal safety teams to provide professional opinions, advice, and recommendations to Fisher-Price related to product safety, and the safe and proper use of products.”
This all comes on the heels of the SAFE SLEEP FOR BABIES ACT OF 2021 which was just signed into federal law. The rule will come into effect on June 23.
The law bans the manufacture and sale of crib bumpers or infant sleepers with an incline of more than 10%.
It is yet to be determined if the Fisher-Price infant rockers will be a part of this ban.
You can check out the full safety notice for the Fisher-Price’s Infant-to-Toddler or Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers here.