Parents know well the struggle of getting an infant on a stable and reliable sleep schedule. The process often involves rocking, soothing, feeding, and sometimes music or vibration. Often, parents trust that their nursery products, such as infant sleepers, are safe for their infants. Unfortunately, there is increasing evidence to suggest otherwise.
Infant sleeper lawsuits have gained great attention in recent years, particularly following the massive recall of Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play sleepers in 2019. Since that time, numerous other infant sleepers and nursery products have been recalled due to the risk of suffocation, injury, and death.
Since the recalls began in 2019, numerous families have filed infant sleeper lawsuits after their infants suffered injuries or died while using the products.
At Kherkher Garcia, LLP, our product liability lawyers help families who have been affected by dangerous products. It is completely unacceptable for a product manufactured for infants to be dangerous, or even deadly, to them. We help families pursue justice and hold manufacturers accountable.
Below, learn more about the infant sleeper recalls, the dangers of these common products, and what you can do to protect your rights and pursue justice.
Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play Recall
In April 2019, Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play Sleepers due to reports of infant deaths. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) stated that infants could roll from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances, and suffocate.
As of January 2023, over 100 infant deaths have been linked to the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. More than 1,000 incidents in total have been reported.
The Rock ‘n Play Sleeper is a portable bassinet that can be used for infants from birth to 3 months old. It has a reclined position that is supposed to mimic the womb, and it vibrates and plays music to soothe infants. However, the incline of the sleeper can make it difficult for infants to breathe, and the lack of restraints can allow them to roll over and suffocate.
If you have a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, you should stop using it immediately and contact Fisher-Price for a refund or voucher. You can also call Fisher-Price at 866-812-6518 for more information.
Are Other Infant Sleepers Being Recalled?
Fisher Price is not the only brand recalling inclined sleepers. In 2019, the CPSC contracted a mechanical engineer to evaluate the safety of infant sleep products. The results are alarming, at best. The engineer found that,
“None of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as part of this study are safe for infant sleep.”
With an increase in awareness, companies manufacturing sleepers began evaluating their own products, consumer complaints, and potential hazards. As a result, companies and the CPSC initiated the following recalls:
- Kids II: A recall of 700,000 infant sleepers
- Graco: 111,000 Little Lounger Rocking Seats
- Kolcraft: 50,000 Cuddle ‘n Care and Preferred Position sleepers
- Summer Infant: 46,000 SwaddleMe By Your Bed sleepers
- The Dorel Juvenile Group USA: 24,000 Eddie Bauer Slumber and Soothe Rock Bassinets and Disney Baby Doze and Dream Rockers
- Delta Enterprise Corp: 6,000 incline sleepers with feeding positions
- Evenflo: 3,000 inclined Pillo Portable Nappers
This list is not exhaustive. There are likely many other recalls or product warnings that relate to sleepers, inclined sleepers, rockers, and bassinets. There have also been recalls of pillows, including the very popular Boppy pillow. If you have one of these, or a similar product, in your home, you should stop using it immediately. Contact the manufacturer to see if the product is subject to a recall.
Why are Infant Sleepers So Dangerous?
Inclined infant sleepers are dangerous because they can increase the risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The incline of the sleeper can make it difficult for infants to breathe, and the lack of restraints can allow them to roll over and suffocate.
Here are some of the risks associated with inclined infant sleepers:
- Suffocation: The incline of the sleeper can make it difficult for infants to breathe, especially if their head falls forward. This can lead to suffocation.
- SIDS: Inclined infant sleepers have been linked to an increased risk of SIDS. SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of an infant under the age of one.
- Falls: Infants can roll out of inclined infant sleepers and fall to the ground. This can result in serious injuries, such as head trauma.
- Strangulation: The soft fabric in inclined infant sleepers can pose a strangulation hazard. If an infant’s head gets caught in the fabric, they can suffocate.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all infants sleep on their back on a firm, flat surface. They also recommend that parents do not use pillows, blankets, or other soft objects in the crib. If you are considering using an inclined infant sleeper, talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits.
Inclined infant sleepers have been deemed dangerous enough that President Joe Biden signed a law in 2022 banning certain sleep products from being manufactured or sold. Furthermore, the CPSC has new requirements for all sleep products manufactured and sold in the United States.
What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant, usually occurring during sleep. The exact cause of SIDS is not fully understood. It is believed to be the result of a combination of factors, including an underlying vulnerability in some infants, an environmental trigger, and a critical developmental period in which the infant’s ability to respond to these triggers is impaired.
SIDS typically occurs in infants between the ages of one and 12 months, with the highest risk occurring between 2-4 months of age. Factors that may increase the risk of SIDS include placing the baby to sleep on their stomach or side, overheating, exposure to tobacco smoke, and maternal alcohol or drug use during pregnancy or after birth.
While the exact cause of SIDS is unknown, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of SIDS, such as following safe sleeping practices. It is also important to ensure that the baby receives regular prenatal and postnatal care, and to follow safe sleep practices consistently.
What is the Safest Way for Babies to Sleep?
The safest way for babies to sleep is on their backs, on a firm and flat surface, such as a crib or bassinet. The surface should be free from any soft bedding, including blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys. This sleeping position is known as the “back-to-sleep” position and is recommended by the AAP to reduce the risk of SIDS.
It is also recommended to use a firm mattress that fits snugly into the crib, without any gaps or spaces between the mattress and the crib. Additionally, the AAP advises against using any sleep positioners, wedges, or other products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS as these have not been shown to be effective and may even increase the risk of suffocation.
It is important to keep the baby’s sleeping area free from any loose cords, wires, or other potential hazards, and to avoid over bundling the baby with too many layers of clothing or blankets, which can increase the risk of overheating.
Overall, the safest way for babies to sleep is on their backs, in a safe and secure sleeping environment, without any loose or soft objects that could pose a suffocation hazard.
Sleep Safety Tips for Infants
Here are some tips for keeping your baby safe while sleeping:
- Always put your baby to sleep on their back on a firm, flat surface.
- Use a firm mattress that fits snugly in the crib.
- Do not use pillows, blankets, or other soft objects in the crib.
- Dress your baby in light clothing.
- Make sure the room temperature is comfortable.
- Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around your baby.
- Place your baby’s crib in a safe location, away from windows, furniture, and other objects.
- Never leave your baby unattended while they are sleeping.
By following these tips, you can help keep your baby safe and sound.
Who Can File an Infant Sleeper Lawsuit?
If you are a parent or caregiver of an infant who was injured, or who died, while using an infant sleeper, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit. Generally, you are eligible if you meet the following criteria:
- You owned an inclined infant sleeper
- The injured child was under one year of age at the time of the injury
- The child suffered serious injuries or death
The best way to determine if you qualify is to speak with a product liability lawyer to discuss your situation.
How Can a Product Liability Lawyer Help?
Product liability law can be complex, and it is a guarantee that product manufacturers and sellers have their own legal teams. That’s why it is wise to seek the help of a product liability lawyer before taking any action.
At Kherkher Garcia, our product liability lawyers help clients in the following ways:
If you or a family member have been injured due to a defective product, a product liability lawyer can represent you in court or during settlement negotiations. Our lawyers will help you file a lawsuit against the responsible parties, including the manufacturer, distributor, or retailer, and fight for your right to compensation.
A product liability lawyer will thoroughly investigate your case to determine who is responsible for the defective product that caused your injuries. Our team will gather evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and expert testimony, to build a strong case.
Evaluation of Damages
A product liability lawyer can help you evaluate the damages you have suffered due to your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. Our lawyers work to ensure that you receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries.
A product liability lawyer will negotiate with the responsible parties and their insurance companies on your behalf. Our team has decades of legal expertise that we use to advocate for your rights and interests and ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
If your case goes to trial, our lawyers will represent you in court. We will use our litigation skills and resources to present a compelling case and persuade the judge and jury (as applicable) to rule in your favor.
Overall, our product liability lawyers can provide you with the legal support and representation you need to seek justice and recover compensation for your injuries.
Get a Free Infant Sleeper Case Evaluation
If your child has suffered injuries, or has passed away, due to an infant sleeper or other nursery product, contact Kherkher Garcia today for a free case evaluation. We will use our skills and resources to help you explore your situation and determine if you have a case. If so, we will fight aggressively to protect your rights and see justice done for your family.