Four Major Retailers End Sales Of Inclined Sleepers Linked To Infant Deaths

by Valerie Williams

Consumer Reports urges retails to stop selling inclined infant sleepers and several have complied

Last week, Consumer Reports sent a letter to Amazon and 14 other retailers urging them to stop selling infant inclined sleepers after research found them to be unsafe. Now, Amazon, Walmart, Buy Buy Baby, and eBay is listening and has pulled all infant inclined sleepers from their sites.

“In light of strong evidence showing that infant inclined sleep products are inherently unsafe and are linked to at least 73 infant deaths, Consumer Reports urges your company to immediately remove from its store shelves or online marketplaces all infant sleepers with an inclined back surface. The removal of all infant inclined sleep products and accessories is essential to keep babies safe, to satisfy your responsibilities to your customers, and to minimize consumer confusion around safe infant sleep practices,” the letter reads.

But the advocacy group didn’t end with a mere warning. They explained exactly why Amazon and other retailers should heed their warnings. “Last month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released the results of agency-commissioned biomechanical research, led by Erin M. Mannen, Ph.D., into the dangers associated with infant inclined sleep products. In examining how infants move and use their muscles in various sleepers, the Mannen Study found that ‘none of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as a part of this study are safe for infant sleep.’ Citing the findings of the Mannen Study, the CPSC issued a statement advising that parents and caregivers should ‘[s]top using infant sleep products with inclined seat backs of more than 10 degrees.'”

So this wasn’t a case of one brand of inclined sleeper being an issue — none of the sleep products tested were deemed safe for infant sleep. That’s pretty terrifying.

Considering their link to 73 infant deaths so far, pulling the sleepers from the market is the only reasonable thing to do. Consumer Reports cites specific sleepers such as the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper and Kids II rocking sleepers — both of which position babies at an angle between 10 and 30 degrees — and have been proven to be unsafe for use by infants.

“Infant inclined sleepers aren’t safe for infant sleep, and now there’s enormous momentum to get them off the market entirely,” says William Wallace, CR’s manager of home and safety policy. “Every retailer and platform should remove these products immediately, including Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, which haven’t banned them despite eBay and Amazon doing so.”