MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis grandmother wants families to throw out their Fisher-Price infant sleeper which has been blamed for the deaths of multiple babies, including her grandson. The Consumer Product Safety Commission issued another recall on the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper in January, four years after the initial recall.
In that first recall on April 12, 2019, the CPSC cited 30 reported infant fatalities. Two months later, in July 2019, Keisha Edwards says her grandson died in the product.
“It just broke my heart,” said Edwards. “The father said he laid him in the bed to go to sleep. He had just finished the bottle, he burped him, laid him down and something told him to go check on the baby and he went in there was unresponsive. We got the autopsy report and they came back and told us he died from crib death because of the Rock ‘N Play. It was just very, very sad that you buy something for your baby to sleep and all of sudden your baby has died from it.”
Edwards’ grandson, Marquette Jackson, died at six months old. She said the family didn’t know about the recall or the risks of the Rock ‘N Play Sleeper. Four years later, she said her family is now reliving the trauma after learning the CPSC reissued the recall because of more reported baby deaths.
“I saw it again on the news and it just brought tears to my eyes because they said over 100 babies have been killed,” said Edwards. “Losing my grandson was devastating, but to see 99 more died from this same bed it’s devastating.”
The Consumer Product Safety Commission said deaths in Rock ‘N Play Sleepers happened after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances. On January 9, 2023, the agency reissued the recall citing eight additional deaths occurring after the initial recall. The agency added approximately 100 deaths have reportedly occurred while infants were in the products.
“My heart breaks for those families and each of those instances weighs heavily on the folks here at CPSC,” said Commissioner Richard Trumka, with CPSC. “Tragically the first announcement didn’t stop the deaths in the product like it should have. At least 8 babies reportedly lost their lives in the Rock N Play after the recall. That number should be zero. And we now know around 100 deaths reported in the product overall. The Rock ‘N Play cannot remain in homes and daycares.”
Fisher-Price notes that in some of the reports, it has been unable to confirm the circumstances of the incidents or that the product was a Rock ‘N Play Sleeper.
“The Rock ‘N Play places babies at an incline,” said Trumka. “Inclines can allow babies to end up trapped in ways that stop their breathing. If there is confusion, if people think they’re seeing these products on store shelves, Fisher-Price does sell another similar looking incline product called the Infant-to-Toddler Rocker,” said Trumka. “CPSC warned about 14 additional infant sleep deaths in that separate fisher price product, but Fisher-Price has not yet recalled that product. To be clear the Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler rocker just like the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play is unsafe for infant sleep.”
The Rock ‘N Play Sleeper was sold at major stores nationwide including Walmart, Target, and online at Amazon from September 2009 through April 2019 for between $40 and $149. in April 2019 there were about 4.7 million units produced. At the time of the original recall, there were about 4.7 million units produced. That’s why the CPSC is encouraging everyone to check their homes and daycares to remove the sleeper from use.
Trumka said, “I hear all the time about some relative trying to pass down an old product like the Rock ‘N Play to new parents and some will even say ignore the warning, their baby used it and they were fine, well some babies do face a danger and make it through. Those aren’t the stories to focus on. I invite them to instead think of Marquette Jackson and think about how easily that could have been any one of our babies. So if you have a Rock ‘N Play, if you know someone who has a Rock ‘N Play please commit to a simple action, and let’s get rid of those today.”
Edwards echoes that sentiment, sharing her family’s story in hopes of preventing another from experiencing the same tragedy.
“Before you go and pick out something for a baby, make sure it has never been on recall, make sure that it’s not on recall at the present time that you’re purchasing,” said Edwards. “If you don’t then you’ll fall to this devastating thing that we just went through.”
If you have a Rock ‘N Play Sleeper, you’re encouraged to throw it out or contact Fisher-Price for a refund or credit.
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