Federal safety officials are adding more than 165,000 inclined infant sleep products to the millions of products that have been recalled in recent months, due to concerns that the inclined sleepers may pose a risk of infant suffocation and death. According to reports, inclined infant sleepers similar to those manufactured by SwaddleMe, Graco, Evenflo and other companies have been linked to more than 70 infant deaths from suffocation. If your child suffered an injury or fatality as a result of a defective infant product like an inclined sleeper, do not hesitate to seek legal help from an experienced product liability lawyer. You may be able to file a lawsuit against the product manufacturing company for personal injury or wrongful death.
On January 29, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced four recalls for infant inclined sleepers, which are designed to elevate the baby’s head and torso during sleep. The purpose of the inclined feature in these products is to help prevent congestion or acid reflux, but the design has proven to be potentially deadly. According to the Summer Infant SwaddleMe By Your Bed Inclined Sleeper recall announcement, infant fatalities have been reported with a variety of inclined sleep products, “after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side […].” The inclined design of the infant sleep products may also force a child’s chin down onto his or her neck, which can block the airway and increase the risk of suffocation.
Prior to issuing the SwaddleMe infant sleeper recall, which affected more than 46,000 inclined bassinets manufactured by Summer Infant and sold in retail stores and online from March 2017 through December 2019, the CPSC released a warning advising consumers to stop using the products immediately, due to the risk of suffocation. “The agency continues to emphasize that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet, or play yard,” the CPSC wrote. “Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows, or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their back.”
Concerns about the safety of inclined sleepers first emerged in April 2019, when nearly five million Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play products were recalled, following reports of at least 32 infant deaths from suffocation. That same month, a recall was issued for nearly 700,000 Kids II rocking sleepers, due to similar concerns about a risk of suffocation. In June 2019, Fisher-Price issued an additional recall impacting 71,000 inclined sleeping accessories sold with the company’s Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards. In this latest wave of recalls issued this week, several other inclined sleep products were recalled in addition to the SwaddleMe bassinet, including Graco’s Little Lounger Rocking Seats, Evenflo Pillo Portable Napper Inclined Sleepers and Delta Inclined Bassinet Sleepers.
Major retailers like Buy Buy Baby, Walmart and Amazon have announced that they will stop selling infant inclined sleepers altogether as a result of this string of product recalls. Unfortunately, it is estimated that millions of these sleepers remain in the possession of parents, caregivers and daycare facilities nationwide, many of whom may not realize the risks associated with the products. In the meantime, parents of infants who died while using an inclined sleeper are pursuing legal claims against the makers of these products, alleging that the companies knew or should have known about the risk of suffocation and allowed parents across the country to continue using the life-threatening products.