Consumer Alert: Infant incline sleepers are now illegal, but we found them for sale online. What parents need to know
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – This consumer alert is a critical reminder for anyone who cares for a baby. This week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, approved new rules that ban some deadly baby products.
The problem is that millions of these products were sold and may still be in use. We’re talking about incline baby sleepers and bumper pads. The CPSC says those products have been linked to the deaths of 200 babies in the U.S. Babies have buried their heads in the soft padding of crib bumper pads and suffocated. And incline sleepers are a suffocation risk as well.
Incline sleepers are dangerous because babies younger than six months have no neck strength, so their heads can fall forward, chin to chest, blocking airflow. So last year President Biden signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act banning the sale and manufacturing of any baby sleeper that has an incline of more than ten degrees. And this week, the CPSC codified the law.
The wildly popular Fisher Price Rock N Play sleeper was recalled back in 2019, but by that time, more than 4.7 million had been sold.
Getting these and other incline sleepers out of homes and off the resale market has proven challenging. I found a product called an infant sleeper for sale on the resale site, Poshmark. In the description, the seller wrote, “Used this for a month or so while my son’s acid reflux was bad and he had to sleep at an incline.” The seller likely had no idea that sleeping at an incline put her son’s life in danger, and selling the sleeper could now put another child at risk.
The ban does not apply to products like rockers, swings and gliders. I found more than a dozen that were pictured at an incline of more than ten degrees. Many of the products vibrated or played peaceful music, and it stands to reason that your baby could fall asleep in them. All those products are still legally on the market. If you have one, experts say you must supervise your baby while she’s in it, especially if she’s younger than six months.