When Use of an Inclined Sleeper Leads to Death
In December of last year, Consumer Reports and other safety advocacy groups warned Amazon and major retailers about the dangers of infant inclined sleepers. These products, which are hugely popular among new parents, have been linked to more than 70 infant deaths over about a 10-year period.
Thankfully, most of the products have since been recalled, and Amazon and others have banned sales of basically all products in this category. Unfortunately, these actions came too late for the dozens of grieving parents who lost children.
What are These Products and Who Makes Them?
Infant inclined sleepers are essentially small, portable beds for infants to sleep or nap on. They are inclined at the top to tilt the sleeping baby between 10 and 30 degrees so that the child is not lying flat. Some are simple and resemble molded pillows, while others have rocking and swaying capabilities.
The manufacturers of these products include major companies like Fisher-Price (which makes the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper) and Kids II, which also makes a rocking sleeper. The Rock ‘n Play debuted in 2009 to great popularity and soon had a host of copycats.
Why are They So Dangerous?
Most adults and older children would have no trouble sleeping on any comfortable surface. But infants don’t yet have the muscle structure or strength to free themselves from dangerous situations. As such, suffocation is a real risk, as is getting caught in small spaces like between the bars of a crib. Because of this, there are very strict guidelines for how infant sleepers should be designed. And as you’ll read below, these guidelines were ignored.
As a result, at least 73 infant deaths have been tied to infant inclined sleepers. Some parents left their sleeping babies alone for fewer than 15 minutes, proving that there is no safe amount of time for a baby to sleep in an IIS.
Products Go Against AAP Guidelines for Safe Sleep
The American Academy of Pediatrics instructs that babies should be put to bed on their backs, sleeping alone on a firm and flat surface. They should also be unrestrained, and their immediate sleeping area should not contain soft bedding or bumpers.
The AAP is the authority on child health and safety. Therefore, it stands to reason that any manufacturer of baby products would consult and abide by the organization’s guidelines. Unfortunately, the numerous makers of these infant inclined sleepers violated the AAP’s guidelines.
Investigations into the dangers of these products also found that they were put onto the market without adequate safety testing.
Seeking Justice with the Help of a Wrongful Death Attorney
Dangerous and defective products injure tens of thousands of Americans each year, and even result in death for some. Whether you have been injured or a loved one has been killed, you deserve compensation and justice in the form of a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
Experienced attorneys are ready to sit with you, discuss the details of your case and explain all of your legal options for free. Simply contact a wrongful death attorney in Lakeland, Florida today to schedule a consultation.
Thanks to David & Philpot, P.L. for their insight into personal injury claims and the elements of a wrongful death claim.