While harmless looking, inclined baby sleepers have been found in recent years to be particularly hazardous, with some 100 deaths reported and likely many more of which officials were never informed.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has called for a halt to sales and recalls of these products – most recently Graco recalled its versions of inclined sleepers – but many remain in use. Parents should be aware that inclined baby sleepers are dangerous.
The devices were first introduced in 2009 by Fisher-Price with its Rock n’ Play sleeper. The inclined sleepers quickly became popular items because they helped put babies to sleep for parents who were often in need of sleep themselves.
But there are three main problems with the product, according to sources including Parents.com, which quoted Eric Mannen, a biomechanics researcher, who headed a study conducted for the CPSC.
- The angle of sleep can be too high, or adjusted to be too high. Any angle in excess of 10 degrees can cause babies while resting on their backs to have their heads, which are heavy in proportion to the rest of their bodies, tilt forward. This can cause their chins to come into contact with their chests and block their airways.
- If a baby placed in a sleeper rolls to its side, the plushness of some of the sleepers can cause suffocation; that’s the case even with some sleepers with mess sides.
- Since the sleepers are not as firm as a crib, it makes it more difficult for a baby to move away from the side or from the base of the sleeper if it has rolled onto its stomach.
In late 2019, Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million Rock 'n Play Sleepers and Kids II recalled 700,000 of its inclined infant sleepers, though many remain in circulation. In late 2020, Graco became the latest to recall the device, asking consumers to return 51,000 inclined sleepers; The specific products recalled by Graco are the Graco Pack ‘n Play Day2Dream Playard with Bedside Sleeper, Graco Pack ‘n Play Nuzzle Nest Playard, Graco Pack ‘n Play Everest Playard and Graco Pack ‘n Play Rock ‘n Grow Playard.
Learn more about inclined sleepers and possible legal recourse you may have as the result of serious injury to a baby possibly due to the use of a Fisher-Price, Kids II or Graco products.