Only eight weeks after recalling the Rock N' Play Inclined Sleeper that has been implicated in over 30 infant deaths, Fisher-Price has issued a new recall for a similar product that is included as an accessory for the Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard.
According to the company website, the recall has been undertaken voluntarily in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard is essentially an enclosed playpen. The inclined sleeper that was included until recently is positioned on top of the unit and enables it to be converted for infant sleep. It is the only component that is currently being recalled. The Play Yard itself is not affected by the recall.
According to the CPSC announcement, “Infant fatalities have been reported while using other inclined sleep products, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.” The recent Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yard recall, effective as of June 27, affects approximately 71,000 units.
The original Rock N' Play Inclined Sleeper is the cause of action in a class-action lawsuit filed in April, only a week after the CPSC issued the initial recall of all units. Plaintiffs claim that the product was poorly-designed, causing young infants (12 weeks or younger) to suffocate when they turned over in their sleep.
Current evidence suggests they have a strong case. The Fisher-Price employee behind the Rock N' Play had a background in industrial design, but little to no knowledge of pediatrics. Nor did she consult with any medical experts when designing the product. In fact, pediatricians recommend that young infants be placed on their backs for sleep atop a firm, level surface.
The initial Rock N' Play recall affected 4.7 million units.
Fisher-Price sleepers are not the only inclined sleepers to have been recalled. Shortly after the Fisher-Price recall, another manufacturer, Kids II, voluntarily recalled their own version of the product. At least 5 infants are known to have died as the result of using the Kids II Rocking Sleeper.
Unfortunately, other inclined sleepers remain on the market. Currently, parents and pediatricians are calling upon the CPSC to issue a full-scale recall of all such products. However, there are a number of regulatory hurdles to be cleared before such a massive recall can be initiated. In the meantime, pediatricians urge new parents to discard their inclined sleepers immediately and follow current pediatric guidelines for putting babies to sleep.