Another Inclined Sleeper Linked to Infant's Death
The fatality is tied to the 'angled napper' sold with a Chicco play yard
Jayme Minnich, of Sinking Springs, Pa., noticed that his 3-month-old son Cayson wasn’t breathing 30 minutes after he put him down to nap. Cayson was on his back, in a hammock-shaped insert sold with the Lullaby Dream Playard.
While Minnich's wife performed CPR, he called 911. Cayson was soon rushed to the hospital by ambulance, but it was too late. According to a lawsuit recently filed by the firm Feldman Shepherd against Chicco USA, the maker of the product, hospital staff couldn’t revive Cayson. He had suffocated while sleeping on his back in the inclined sleeper, the suit alleges.
The incident is the latest of numerous fatal incidents linked to inclined sleep products.
Soon after, Kids II recalled about 694,000 of its inclined rocking sleepers, citing five infant fatalities. All told, inclined sleep products have now been tied to at least 50 reported deaths to date.
And in June, Fisher-Price recalled 71,000 inclined sleepers that were sold as an accessory to the Ultra-Lite Day & Night Play Yards. That product is similar to the inclined accessory sold with the Lullaby Dream Playard and cited in the recent lawsuit.
CR has called for the Consumer Product Safety Commission and product manufacturers to get all inclined sleep products off the market and out of people’s homes. CR also strongly supports legislation, currently in Congress, to ban the manufacture, import, and sale of inclined sleepers altogether.
“If these steps are not taken, most inclined sleep products will remain in stores and in people’s homes—with families largely unaware of the risks the sleepers pose,” says William Wallace, manager of home and safety policy for CR.
Lakin Minnich, for instance, who alleges in the recent lawsuit that the Chicco napper was responsible for her son Cayson's death, says, "because it was called a ‘napper,’ I assumed it was safe for naps.”
Chicco USA told CR in an emailed statement, “Safety is always our top priority. To date, this is the only allegation we’ve heard about as it relates to our playard nappers. Because this matter relates to ongoing litigation, we are unable to comment further.”
A spokesperson for the CPSC said the agency could not comment on the incident.
Parents should avoid all inclined sleep products, even those that have not been recalled, says Ben Hoffman, M.D., chairperson of the AAP’s Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention Executive Committee. In addition to the danger of the incline, the products are also often padded and have restraints, both of which can be hazardous. “There is no such thing as a safe inclined sleep product,” he says. “All inclined sleepers should be taken off the market.”