Fisher-Price 'ignored critical warnings' about inclined sleep products, report says

The report says an investigation began in August 2019 after media reports of dozens of infant deaths related to inclined sleep products.


An investigation found Fisher-Price "ignored critical warnings" from parents and pediatricians about certain inclined sleep products, according to a report from the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

The report says an investigation began in August 2019 after media reports of dozens of infant deaths related to inclined sleep products.

The committee noted that the first inclined sleeper on the market was Fisher-Price's Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, which was released in 2009.

According to the report, the committee obtained thousands of documents from five manufacturers of infant inclined sleep products. As part of the investigation, the committee also conducted interviews with current and former Fisher-Price employees and officials with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"The Committee's investigation revealed that Fisher-Price failed to ensure the Rock 'n Play was safe before bringing it to market, ignored critical warnings from pediatricians, parents, and foreign regulators that the product was dangerous, and continued to market it for overnight sleep despite clear evidence that this put infants at risk of serious harm or death," the report summary says. "The investigation also showed that Fisher-Price and other manufacturers of infant inclined sleepers operate with inadequate oversight, and that CPSC lacks the necessary authority to protect infants from potentially deadly products."

The committee concluded that Fisher-Price's "poor safety practices and lack of meaningful oversight allowed the Rock 'n Play to stay on the U.S. market for a total of 10 years," during which more than 50 infants died while using the product.

Last week, Fisher-Price recalled a model of its baby soothers after the deaths of four infants who were placed on their backs unrestrained in the devices and later found on their stomachs.

In a joint statement with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Fisher-Price 4-in-1 Rock 'n Glide Soothers, which are designed to mimic the motion of a baby being rocked in someone's arms.

The company also recalled a similar product, the 2-in-1 Soothe 'n Play Glider, although there were no reported deaths connected to it.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently approved new safety requirements for products marketed or intended for babies under 5 months old.

Infant sleep products must meet a new federal safety standard beginning in mid-2022.

The new requirement is meant to eliminate potentially hazardous sleep products on the market, such as inclined sleepers, travel and compact bassinets and in-bed sleepers, some of which have been linked to infant deaths.

Items formerly referred to as "inclined sleep products" included several styles that were recalled over the years, according to the commission.