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Infant deaths prompt warning about rockers made by Fisher-Price

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Posted at 5:58 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 07:41:40-04

Fisher-Price and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have sent a warning to parents and caregivers about two infant rockers after 13 babies died in them. The CPSC is concerned about suffocation.

In 2019, the Fisher-Price Rock’N Play sleeper was pulled off the shelves. The Consumer Product Safety Commission told parents to stop using the rocker immediately and contact the company for a refund.

The recall came after more than 30 babies died.

Keenan and Evan Overton said their son suffocated after flipping around in the rocker in 2019.

“He had turned into the cloth of the seating. I was in the living room, I was going to take over that night and give Evan a rest,” Keenan said. “I had him right by me in the living room, the couch, and when I woke up, he had already turned into the seat and passed away.”

Three years later, two more rockers made by Fisher-Price, the infant-to-toddler and newborn-to-toddler rockers, are being deemed unsafe for sleep by the commission following another 13 infant deaths.

In their 2019 interview with CNN, the Overtons said at the time that Fisher-Price should have removed the Rock N Play sleeper right away.

“One baby is enough, add on 30, and plus that, it’s just outstanding it’s still being sold,” said Evan Overton. “I want them to take into account all of the parents’ stories and all of the families who are grieving and save other people's heartache and remove it. That’s the best thing.”

And as we told you, the Rock N’ Play Sleeper was eventually recalled but those other two rockers most recently in question are still on shelves and available for purchase now.

In a search for the product online, it says the chair is deep and cozy and has two reclining positions. The CPSC said babies should always sleep on a firm flat surface with nothing but a fitted sheet.

The CPCS released its statement and warning on the product Tuesday, June 14 but said it would have notified parents about these rockers two months ago. Instead, it said a gag rule put in place by lawmakers in the 80s kept them from being able to. The rule says they must wait until the company has time to respond.

More than 17 million of the Rockers have been sold since the 1990s, according to Fisher-Price.

Commissioner Richard Trumka said in a statement, “Even with the cooperation from Fisher-Price, we fought an uphill battle to release this information to warn parents and caregivers. Sharing vital safety information should not be this hard. Congress must immediately repeal the Gag Rule. If CPSC cannot issue timely warnings, dangers will remain hidden in people’s homes.”

CPSC recently finalized a rule requiring that infant sleep products have a sleep surface angle of 10 degrees or less. The rule goes into effect on June 23, 2022.

Consumers are reminded:

  • The best place for an infant to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard.
  • Parents and caregivers should use a fitted sheet only and never add blankets, pillows, padded crib bumpers, or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment.
  • Infants should always be placed to sleep on their backs. Infants who fall asleep in an inclined or upright position should be moved to a safe sleep environment with a firm, flat surface such as a crib, bassinet or play yard.

The company has created a webpage, www.fisherprice.com/SafeStart, that offers safety videos and tips for using the products.

People can report any incidents to Fisher-Price at 800-432-5437.