Doctors warn parents: Stop using this Fisher-Price sleeper now

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Doctors warn parents: Stop using this Fisher-Price sleeper now

Update, April 12, 2019: Fisher-Price is recalling all models of its Rock 'n Play Sleeper, the company announced Friday due to the reported infant deaths. Check the company website for details.


A group of pediatricians on Tuesday called for an immediate recall of the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper, after a report linked it with the deaths of 32 infants.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, a professional organization, pressed for parents to stop using the sleeper immediately and for stores to take it off the shelves.

The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission and Fisher-Price issued a warning Friday in response to reports that infants had died when they rolled over in the sleeper. The commission recommended that people stop using the product by the time infants reach three months of age or when they gain the ability to roll over.

The warning doesn't go far enough, the AAP says.

"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," said Dr. Kyle Yasuda, president of the AAP.

A Consumer Reports investigation found 32 deaths linked to the Rock 'n Play between 2011 and 2018. They included babies younger than the 3-month threshold mentioned in the CPSC and Fisher-Price warning. Some of the babies died of asphyxia after rolling into a position in which they couldn't breathe.

Following the AAP's recall request, the CPSC said it was investigating the deaths.

"If the evidence shows the need for a recall, we will take that step," the commission said in a statement. Mattel, the parent company of Fisher-Price, did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

The sleeper doesn't meet AAP recommendations for a safe sleeping environment for a baby, said Dr. Rachel Moon, chair of the AAP task force on sudden infant death syndrome.

"Infants should always sleep on their back, on a separate, flat and firm sleep surface without any bumpers or bedding," Moon said.

Sleep products that incline, like the Rock 'n Play, or that require restraining a baby also go against AAP recommendations. Using car seats, strollers or other devices for sleep pose the risk that a baby could roll over into a position from which they can't move, leading to suffocation or strangulation, the AAP said.

Safe sleep products

The AAP has published a guide to creating a safe sleep environment on the website healthychildren.org. The group recommends that babies sleep in a crib with a firm surface. The crib should stay in the same room where you sleep for the first six months or, ideally, for the first year.

When buying products, watch out for products that claim to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, the AAP said. Special mattresses and other products that claim to do so haven't been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS.

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Image: Wes Hicks