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The Consumer Product Safety Commission warned consumers today to avoid the SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper, made by Sumr Brands. The agency said that while the product was not specifically linked to deaths or injuries, it posed a suffocation risk, based on the agency’s evaluation and outside expert analysis.
The CPSC had asked Sumr Brands to recall the product, but the company failed to do so and the agency can’t force companies to recall products without taking them to court. The agency issued this warning and said it would continue to press the company for a recall.
Amazon, Buy Buy Baby, eBay, Walmart, and several other major retailers have pledged to stop selling all infant inclined sleepers, and Sumr Brands discontinued the SwaddleMe By Your Bed in 2018. But the product is still available for sale, and consumers who bought them could still be using them in their homes.
The warning follows a Consumer Reports investigation that uncovered dozens of infant deaths linked to infant inclined sleepers. That ongoing investigation prompted the recall of 4.7 million Fisher-Price Rock ’n Play Sleepers, plus the recall of other inclined sleepers sold by Kids II and Dorel. Inclined sleepers have been linked to at least 73 deaths and more than 1,000 incidents, including serious injuries.
Research shows that the products—which are designed to put babies to bed at an incline between 10 degrees and 30 degrees—are unsafe because they can allow an infant’s head to slump forward and interfere with breathing, leading to suffocation and death. In October 2019, the CPSC voted to move forward with a proposed ban of all infant inclined sleepers after a study commissioned by the agency found they posed significant risks.
A spokesman for Sumr Brands (formerly known as Summer Infant) told CR the company was not recalling the product because it has not received any reports of death or injury and that “the product has significant design differences from other inclined sleepers.”
But William Wallace, CR’s manager of home and safety policy, says the company should act. “The evidence is clear: Inclined products aren’t safe for infant sleep. Sumr Brands has a responsibility to make consumers whole and help parents and caregivers keep their babies safe," he says. "The best way to do that is to immediately issue a recall, not argue with the CPSC.”
Some other inclined products marketed for infant sleep that are still available for sale include the Evenflo Pillo Portable Napper, the Hiccapop DayDreamer, the Baby Delight Go With Me Sway Portable Infant Rocker, the Baby Delight Nestle Nook Comfort Plush Infant Napper, and the Chicco Lullaby Dream Playard’s inclined napper insert.
Acting CPSC chairman Bob Adler told CR in December that the agency continues to pressure companies that have not yet recalled their inclined infant sleepers, and safety advocates hope holdout manufacturers will act soon.
Legislation now in Congress aims to ban all infant inclined sleepers from the market. The Safe Sleep for Babies Act—introduced by Rep. Tony Cardenas, D-Calif., in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., in the U.S. Senate—would prohibit the manufacture, import, and sale of unsafe infant sleep products, such as inclined sleepers and crib bumpers. The bill passed the House in December and is now in the Senate.
In the meantime, CR advises anyone who owns the SwaddleMe By Your Bed Sleeper or any other inclined infant sleeper to immediately stop using the product.
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