ACCC investigating reports of US baby deaths in Fisher-Price sleeper

Fisher-Price Auto Rock 'n Play Sleeper.
Fisher-Price Auto Rock 'n Play Sleeper. Photo: Supplied

The Australian consumer watchdog has warned parents to keep a Fisher-Price sleeper "out of reach of children" following reports it has been linked with at least 10 infant deaths in the US since 2015.

The babies all died after rolling over while in the Rock 'n Play sleeper, which is available for sale in Australia.

A spokesperson for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it was not aware of any injuries or deaths in Australia associated with the product, but it was being investigated "as a matter of priority".

"The ACCC urges parents with this product to keep it out of reach of children," the spokesperson said. "We are always concerned by reports such as those we are seeing from the US."

The parent company of Fisher-Price, Mattel, did not respond to the Herald's request for comment.

The original warning about the product was issued in a joint statement by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Fisher-Price on Friday.

It recommended parents stop using the seat when a child reaches three-months-old "or as soon as an infant exhibits roll over capabilities".

The deaths occurred after infants rolled from their backs to their stomachs or sides when they were unrestrained in the seat. All the infants who died were three months or over, the statement said.

The Rock 'n Play sleeper features a fabric cradle on a metal stand that rocks babies so they can be soothed to sleep. Fisher-Price said parents should use the sleeper's harness to secure infants.


"Always use the provided restraints, always place infants on their backs to sleep, and make sure that no pillows, blankets or extra padding are placed in the Rock 'n Play sleeper," Mattel said in a separate statement to the The New York Times. 

The statements did not specifically explain how the infants died.

Parenting blogs have praised the baby sleeper for years. In a blog post from 2016 on, a mother called the sleeper the best baby product she had bought.

However, in a 2013 blog post, Dr Roy Benaroch, a paediatrician in Atlanta, wrote his first recommendation against using it. He cited sleep guidelines from the American Academy of Paediatrics as reason enough not to use the Rock 'n Play.

"The guidelines went over several important ways that parents can ensure that their children were sleeping safely," Benaroch said on Saturday. "Among them was that babies should be placed to sleep on a firm, flat surface, and on their back. The Rock 'n Play is neither firm nor flat."

For children under three months, Benaroch suggested following the academy guidelines, which say that parents should "avoid use of soft bedding, including crib bumpers, blankets, pillows and soft toys" and that the cot should be bare.

"The sleep safety guidelines are meant to be enforced from birth onward," Benaroch said. "Once babies are old enough to roll and wiggle, you don't have to keep them on their back. You give them a kiss and say good night

With The New York Times 

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