Inclined sleepers were at one time lauded as the answer to help infants sleep better at night. These products were sold in the millions and parents loved them. The design and development of the product followed the theory that an inclined angle of sleep for infants would help them sleep much better. This angle of incline was generally set anywhere from 10 to 30 degrees (or even more).
However, in June 2019, Fisher-Price’s popular inclined sleeper was recalled from the market after multiple reports of infant deaths resulted from its use. At that time, the product was blamed for more than 30 of these deaths. Since then, a number of other brands of the inclined sleeper have been recalled. Due to the dangers recognized with these inclined sleepers, the Consumer Products Safety Commission now urges consumers to cease using all inclined sleeper brands. Despite this, these defective products are still being sold secondhand, despite the recalls and dangers explained.
The CPSC has begun a process to modify the federal rules, limiting the incline in any sleeping product to no greater than 10 degrees. This is considered a safe incline, reducing the risk that a baby can roll over.
Inclined sleeper dangers
The dangers associated with these inclined sleepers are that infants can roll over onto a facedown position, leaving to potential suffocation. The optimum sleeping position for babies is on their back. This reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
For many years, the prevailing advice provided by pediatricians contradicted the preferences of parents for their infant’s sleep. The common recommendation of doctors was that infants sleep on a flat surface, a safe position which leaves them less vulnerable to SIDS. However, millions of parents chose to purchase the Rock ‘n Play sleeper and other competitor versions on the market. Fisher-Price sold about 5 million of these products and other companies also sold millions.
Pressure from regulators forced recalls
However, once reports started to filter in of infant deaths, and these deaths begin to increase, it was also reported that Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play was not put through any medical safety testing before being placed on the market. The company kept the product on the market even after fatalities from the use of the product were reported. There were also a number of competitors with products still available on the market even after the recall of the Rock ‘n Play.
Fisher-Price was sued a number of times after its popular inclined sleeper was recalled.
At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP, our compassionate New Jersey injury attorneys are dedicated to helping you understand your legal options and rights if you are infant was hurt or died as a result of an inclined sleeper product. Whether your loss is associated with Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play model or another competitor’ inclined sleeper for infants, we are here to help you secure the compensation you deserve. To set up a free, no obligation consultation at one of our offices in Red Bank, Edison, or Toms River, give us a call today at 732.777.0100 or leave us a message through our contact form.