WASHINGTON– Fisher-Price and U.S. product safety regulators are telling parents not to let their babies fall asleep on the company’s rockers after 13 babies died in the devices between 2009 and 2021.
The deaths occurred when babies fell asleep in Fisher Price Infant-to-Toddler and Newborn-to-Toddler rockers. The company, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, said rockers should never be used for sleeping and infants should never be left unattended or unrestrained.
Fisher-Price, a division of Mattel Inc., based in El Segundo, Calif., recalled a similar product last year after four infants died after being placed on their backs unrestrained in the Rock ‘n Glide pacifier 4 in 1. These deaths, all of children under 4 months old, occurred between April 2019 and February 2020.
In 2019, the CPSC recalled another similar Fisher-Price product, the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, after 30 infant deaths were reported. Doctors, parents and consumer advocates had warned the company for years that the product was unsafe and needed to be recalled.
CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka Jr. said a gag order implemented by Congress in 1981 prevented the agency from issuing an immediate warning to consumers without first seeking permission from the manufacturer of the product. . In the most recent case, Trumka said the gag order delayed the warning message by two months.
“Congress must immediately repeal the gag rule,” Trumka said in a statement separate from Tuesday’s product warning. “If the CPSC cannot issue timely warnings, the dangers will remain hidden in people’s homes.”
A new rule finalized by the CPSC requires baby sleep products to have a sleep surface angle of 10 degrees or less. The rule comes into effect on June 23, 2022.
Fisher-Price and the CPSC said the best place for infants to sleep is on their backs on a firm, level surface with no blankets or other objects nearby.
Fisher-Price has sold more than 17 million Rockers worldwide since the 1990s.
Consumers are encouraged to report incidents involving these or other infant products to the CPSC at saferproducts (dot) gov.