Last month, Fisher-Price issued a recall of its 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soothers and its 2-in-1 Soothe ‘n Play Gliders due to the death of four infants while using the Soothers. According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), both products are hazardous in that “infants who are placed unrestrained in the product and later found on their stomach are at risk of suffocation.”
The 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soothers were on the market from January 2014 to December 2020 and retailed for around $108 each. During that time, approximately 147,000 units were sold and shipped globally. The 2-in-1 Soothe ‘n Play Gliders were on the market from November 2018 to May 2021 and retailed for around $125 each. Roughly 92,000 units of the Gliders were sold and shipped globally. No fatalities have yet been reported in the Gliders, however, the product was included in the recall due to the similarity of the two products as inclined sleepers.
The tragic deaths of the four infants occurred between April 2019 and February 2020, and involved a 2-month old from Michigan, a 2-month old from Nevada, a 4-month old from Missouri, and an 11-week old from Colorado. Fisher-Price has urged parents and consumers of the products to immediately stop using the recalled products and to contact Fisher-Price for a refund. The CPSC issued a press release last month regarding the recall (number 21-147) in which it advised that “the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet, or play yard. Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows, or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs.”
This recall follows Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper recall in 2019 in which over 50 infant deaths occurred “after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.” An investigation launched in 2019 by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, released its report in June 2021, presenting its findings on the design, safety, and recall of infant inclined sleep products. The investigation revealed that “Fisher-Price failed to ensure the Rock ‘n Play was safe before bringing it to market, ignored critical warnings from pediatricians, parents, and foreign regulators that the product was dangerous, and continued to market it for overnight sleep despite clear evidence that this put infants at risk of serious harm or death.” The investigation further notes that “Fisher-Price’s poor safety practices and lack of meaningful oversight allowed the Rock ‘n Play to stay on the U.S. market for a total of 10 years, during which time more than fifty infants died using the product—while the company raked in at least $200 million in revenue.”
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Cheyenne Benyi is an associate attorney at Grewal Law PLLC. Her practice focuses primarily on cannabis law, criminal defense, personal injury, and general practice matters.