Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sent an open letter from the House Oversight and Reform Committee to USA Today about the infant deaths linked to incline sleepers.
Maloney and her fellow Congresspeople want manufacturers Chicco and Graco to recall their “playard” products from the market before more babies end up hurt.
“The recall of other inclined sleeper products and the continued sale of inclined nappers raises serious concerns about the internal and regulatory processes for introducing new products for infants and children into the market and the marketing tactics used to sell those products,” Maloney wrote.
The committee wants to see action by Chicco and Graco by March 20. Graco recalled some of its reclined sleepers in January of this year–you can read more about that recall here.
However, lawmakers want to see the “playard” style of sleeper recalled as well. These products include removable sleepers, making them potentially dangerous for families who might not follow the latest recalls.
While Chicco failed to respond publicly, Graco issued a statement that managed not to say much of anything:
“Graco wants to make sure that parents and caregivers have appropriate options for both sleep and play, understand the differences and know the facts about safe sleep environments in order to safely use our products and have peace of mind.”
The facts are that at least 73 children have died of suffocation in reclined sleepers. Experts agree that these products are not safe for babies; in fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics specifically says that babies need to sleep on flat surfaces (such as a standard crib mattress).
Adam Garber, speaking on behalf of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, told USA Today that, “[e]vidence continues to pile up that inclined sleepers are a danger to children, which is why the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has proposed banning them completely. They should stop selling any product that fails to meet these standards and issue a recall for all passed inclined sleepers immediately. A child’s life is too precious to wait.”
While the products have not yet been recalled, these are the two “playards” in question:
Both of these products include removable inclined sleepers similar to the ones that have been pulled from the market by Fisher-Price and other manufacturers. Although no official recall has been announced yet, it’s likely to be coming soon thanks to the House Oversight and Reform Committee putting Graco and Chicco on blast.