Yet another potentially life-threatening inclined infant sleeper product has been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), due to concerns about the possible risk of suffocation and infant death. This latest inclined sleeper recall involves Kolcraft Bassinet & Incline Sleepers and was announced on February 20, following reports of at least 73 infant deaths occurring with the use of similar infant inclined sleep products. If your child was injured or killed because of an unsafe or deadly children’s product like an inclined infant sleeper, don’t hesitate to seek legal help. You may have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the product manufacturing company, in order to recover the compensation you and your family deserve for your losses.
Many parents use inclined infant sleepers and bassinets, products that are designed to position a baby at an incline of up to 30 degrees and typically feature such design elements as plush side padding and a rounded sleep surface. However, these inclined sleeper products have been shown to pose a serious risk for infants who are able to roll over on their own, or in cases where the incline forces the infant’s chin down and creates an airway blockage. A number of inclined infant sleeper products have been recalled recently as a result of growing concerns that the products may pose a potential risk of suffocation and infant death. In fact, an independent study commissioned by the CPSC last year found that “none of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as part of this study are safe for infant sleep.”
The public was initially warned about the potential for inclined infant sleepers to pose a risk of suffocation and infant death in April 2019, when the CPSC recalled nearly five million Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleepers. At that time, the agency reported that infants using the recalled Fisher-Play sleeper products may suffocate if they roll over on their own and become trapped against the fabric. In fact, since the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleepers were introduced in 2009, the products had been cited in more than 30 reports of infant fatalities, occurring “after the infants rolled over while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.” Just days before the Fisher-Price recall, the CPSC had urged consumers to stop placing infants in inclined sleepers by the time they are three months old or before they start showing signs of being able to roll over independently.
This new Kolcraft infant sleeper recall affects more than 50,000 inclined sleeper accessories included with Kolcraft Cuddle ‘n Care 2-in-1 Bassinet & Incline Sleepers (model number starting with KB063) and Preferred Position 2-in-1 Bassinet & Incline Sleepers (model number starting with KB061). According to the CPSC, the model number can be found on the metal bar between the legs of the bassinet. The inclined sleeper accessories included in the recall were manufactured in China and sold at juvenile product stores and mass merchandisers nationwide between March 2011 and December 2017, for about $140. The Kolcraft bassinets were sold with the recalled sleep accessory, which causes the infant to be inclined in the bassinet.
The CPSC is not aware of any injuries or fatalities specifically associated with the recalled Kolcraft inclined sleeper accessory. However, the agency indicated in the Kolcraft recall announcement that “Infant fatalities have been reported with other manufacturers’ inclined sleep products, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side, or under other circumstances.” In total, the CPSC has received 1,108 reports of incidents involving similar inclined infant sleeper products from January 2005 through June 2019, including reports of 73 infant deaths. As a result of the defective design of its Rock ‘n Play Sleepers, Fisher-Price now faces a number of wrongful death lawsuits filed on behalf of parents whose babies died while using the sleep products. The lawsuits allege that the company knew or should have known about the problem with its infant sleepers, yet failed to issue a recall or warning.
Kolcraft is reportedly contacting all known purchasers and registered owners of the recalled inclined sleeper accessories directly via a postcard by mail to alert them to the recall. In the meantime, the CPSC advises consumers to immediately stop using the recalled inclined sleeper accessories and contact the company for a refund or for a voucher to be used on the company’s website. The CPSC also reported that the inclined sleeper accessory is the only portion of Kolcraft bassinet that is being recalled. According to the agency, the bassinet can still be safely used without the inclined sleeper accessory.