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American Academy of Pediatrics · Kids In Danger · Consumer Federation of America · U.S. PIRG Education Fund · Public Citizen

For Immediate Release: Thursday, October 17, 2019

Media contacts:
Nancy A. Cowles, Kids In Danger, 312-595-0649, nancy@kidsindanger.org
Rachel Weintraub, Consumer Federation of America, 202-939-1012, rweintraub@consumerfed.org
Jamie Poslosky, American Academy of Pediatrics, 202-347-8600, jposlosky@aap.org
Adam Garber, U.S. PIRG Education Fund, 267-515-1220, adam@pirg.org
David Rosen, Public Citizen, 202-588-7742, drosen@citizen.org

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Consumer and Medical Groups Applaud U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Proposal to Remove Dangerous Sleep Products from the Market

Groups urge agency to implement new standard and recall all infant inclined sleep products

Washington, DC — A coalition of consumer and medical groups praised the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for proposing a strong standard for infant sleep products that would no longer allow them to have an incline. Inclined sleep products, like the recently recalled Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play, are dangerous and incompatible with safe sleep, and the new CPSC proposal offers an opportunity to remove them from the market. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Kids In Danger (KID), Consumer Federation of America (CFA), Public Citizen and U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund (U.S. PIRG) urge each CPSC Commissioner to vote to implement the Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Infant Sleep Products (NPR), and urge the companies manufacturing and selling these products to swiftly remove them from store shelves and cooperate with the CPSC to issue recalls and to remove them from homes and child care facilities.

Infant inclined sleep products include free standing inclined sleep products such as the Fisher- Price Rock ‘n Play and Kids II Rocking Sleeper that have been involved in dozens of deaths and were recalled this year, as well as products such as the previously recalled Nap Nanny, a low to the ground foam device that has led to six infant deaths, and infant hammocks, which are also associated with infant deaths and recalls. Many other infant inclined sleep products remain on the market, despite these safety concerns.

These organizations have called for the ban of inclined sleep products as they violate safe sleep principles which among other things call for a flat surface, no restraints and no added padding. A statement of Safe Sleep Principles was recently submitted to the CPSC and ASTM International by many of the organizations. All products sold for infant sleep should meet those principles.

Over the past seventeen months, the CPSC has warned generically about infant inclined sleep products, issued a specific warning about the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play without a recall, and then subsequently recalled the Fisher-Price product along with three others. During this period, the full extent of the danger of these products became evident as the number of infant deaths publicly reported rose from 10 to now 73, including 64 in freestanding framed units such as the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play.

Today’s NPR will essentially ban infant inclined sleep products currently available for sale and prevent new untested infant sleep products from emerging onto the market. It requires all infant sleep products to meet safety requirements already used for products like bassinets, including requiring a flat surface, no restraints and adequate side height to contain an infant.

The NPR cited a report commissioned by CPSC written by Dr. Erin Mannen, Ph.D. The Mannen Study examined how 10 infants move and use their muscles on flat inclined sleep products and whether these products directly impact safety. The study concluded that, “none of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as part of this study are safe for infant sleep.” These findings are consistent with the recommendations of the AAP and our organizations.

“Parents should be able to trust that the products they see sold in stores marketed as safe for their babies to sleep in are indeed safe. Today’s action by CPSC helps us get there, by offering parents reassurance that any product marketed as safe for infant sleep meets a new safety standard that is consistent with what pediatricians recommend: a flat, firm sleep surface. While the new CPSC action will not bring back the babies whose lives were lost using dangerous inclined sleepers like the Fisher Price Rock N Play, it will prevent more families from experiencing similar tragedy. This new standard will save lives, and we urge CPSC to implement it right away.” – Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

“It is heartbreaking that at least 73 babies lost their lives in products their parents were led to believe were safe,” stated Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger. “Today’s Supplemental NPR is crucial to keeping babies safe as they sleep, and we urge all CPSC Commissioners to support its adoption and push for recalls of all infant inclined sleep products.”

“This Noticed of Proposed Rulemaking and the study upon which it relies, documents without a shadow of a doubt, the tragic truth that over 50 families already know: that inclined sleep products are incompatible with safe sleep and should not be used nor sold,” stated Rachel Weintraub, legislative Director and General Counsel, Consumer Federation of America. “We urge each CPSC Commissioner to vote in favor of this lifesaving rule and support the immediate recall of all inclined sleep products on the market.”

“We have already lost too many infants because these dangerous sleep products have remained for sale,” said Adam Garber, U.S. PIRG Education Fund Consumer Watchdog. “The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission should quickly adopt the rule and work with companies to recall all inclined sleep products to make sure no other child’s life is put at risk.”

“The CPSC’s policy decisions should be guided by data and it is now indisputable that the data show that babies should not sleep on inclined products,” said Remington A. Gregg, Counsel for Civil Justice and Consumer Rights at Public Citizen. “We therefore urge the Commission to move forward with adopting a rule that places the safety of babies before all other considerations.”

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