Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Linked to 32 Babies’ Deaths, Says Consumer Reports
April 9th, 2019 by Wapner Newman
Why is it still on the market? Consumer Reports asked this very important question when reporting the findings of its investigation of dozens of infant deaths related to Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play sleeper.
On April 5th, after Consumer Reports asked for comment about their then-ongoing investigation, the federal government and Fisher-Price issued only a warning about the sleep device, which was both designed and marketed to consumers as a product in which babies could sleep safely on an incline.
The Warning Doesn’t Go Far Enough
The joint statement from Fisher-Price and the Consumer Product Safety Commission cautioned that consumers should “stop use of the product by three months of age, or as soon as an infant exhibits rollover capabilities.” The statement cited only 10 deaths, saying that all occurred among children older than three months.
The Consumer Reports investigation found a much bigger problem. Researchers found at least 32 deaths associated with the sleeper. Some of the infants were younger than three months. Consumer Reports also says that rollovers aren’t the only danger the device poses to children.
Conventional wisdom in the medical community holds that infants should sleep on flat, firm surfaces. The incline of the Rock ‘n Play sleeper could pose a significant health risk to babies. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics said products that restrain children should not be used as routine sleep devices, especially if that restraint is combined with a rocking motion.
Dozens of Tragic Deaths and a Denial of Accountability by Fisher-Price
The deaths recounted by Consumer Reports show the devastation caused by Fisher-Price’s negligence. Evan and Keenan Overton’s 5-month-old son Ezra died a few days before Christmas in 2017 after sleeping in the Rock ‘n Play. As the Overtons researched the product online, they found warnings from both parents and pediatricians about the dangers the Rock ‘n Play posed to infants. They also found that Fisher-Price sold the device as a safe way for children to sleep through “naptime and nighttime.”
In addition to the dozens of infant deaths discovered by Consumer Reports, there were several more close calls for families. For example, one 7-week-old boy in South Carolina was hospitalized after his grandmother found him “blue and lifeless” in the Rock ‘n Play.
Unsurprisingly, Fisher-Price is standing behind their product. It maintains that no deaths stemmed directly from the Rock ‘n Play. Representatives from Fisher-Price said that these deaths resulted from medical conditions and situations “in which the product was clearly used in a manner contrary to the safety warnings and instructions.”
Fisher-Price’s Negligence is Unacceptable
The troubling findings from Consumer Reports have us all asking why the Rock ‘n Play is still on the market. Parents should be able to trust the safety of widely available products. When these companies sell a dangerous product, federal regulators should be quick to step in. The system has failed many families, and Fisher-Price should be held accountable for their negligence.
If you or a loved one has lost a child while using Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play, we encourage you to contact Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller to speak to our team. We are accepting calls about a potential lawsuit against Fisher-Price to make sure they are held responsible for the devastation caused by their product. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.