Today, U.S. PIRG and KID released a new survey three months after nearly 5.4 million infant sleepers were recalled following numerous deaths. The study revealed that many child care facilities continue to use these dangerous inclined sleepers. The survey began after PIRG Consumer Watchdog Adam Garber discovered that his own son’s child care facility in Philadelphia was using the recalled products.
We blame the situation partly on confusing messages about the recall. Initially, a consumer warning for the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play on April 5th linked deaths to infant rollovers, leading some parents and facilities to conclude that proper use would keep babies safe. But a more complete analysis revealed some deaths occurred when the child was buckled in, leading the company and the CPSC to fully recall the 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play sleepers soon after on April 12. On April 26, nearly 700,000 units of the Kids II Rocking Sleeper were recalled.
The current recall system relies on parents and child care centers seeking out information or seeing recall notices in media, rather than direct notice from the recalling company – although companies could easily find lists of child care facilities just like U.S. PIRG and KID did, or directly notify parents. All these issues may explain why Mattel is predicting only a small percentage of Rock ‘n Plays will be returned.
Eighteen states, including Wisconsin, Texas and Illinois, have laws requiring removal of any recalled product from a child care facility. But the survey found that child care facilities in some of those states continued to use these recalled sleepers.
U.S. PIRG and KID recommend the following policy solutions:
- The CPSC should work with recalling companies to include child care facilities in any corrective action plans for toys and nursery products. In addition, the CPSC must work with state agencies to ensure that all child care facilities are automatically notified of recalled children’s products and have instructions on how to participate in the recall.
- Mattel and Kids II should redouble their efforts to reach any known users of these deadly sleepers and encourage participation in the recall.
- States should pass legislation or institute rules banning the use of recalled products in child care facilities and provide a robust process to get information to each provider and ensure compliance.
If you have the recalled sleepers in your home, remove them from use and participate in the recall for the Rock ‘n Play or Kids II rocking sleeper to receive a refund or voucher. KID created a step-by-step video with instructions on how to participate in the Rock ‘n Play recall. Contact us to let us know how your recall process went.