The Federal Consumer Product Safety Commission has sided again with manufacturers concerning the regulation of reportedly dangerous products.
This is the second time in recent months the agency has supported the corporations, this time in response to the call from the American Academy of Pediatrics (APP) to recall the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. According to a Consumer Reports analysis, the product has been linked to more than 30 infant deaths.
The first incident that called into question the role of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) occurred when the agency allowed Britax to continue selling its BOB Gear jogging strollers after several reports of injuries instead of issuing a recall.
It should be noted, the agency’s mission is to protect consumers from hazardous products.
Alert Issued for Certain Consumers to Stop Using Dangerous Sleeper in Lieu of Recall
The CPSC did respond to the reports about the baby sleeper by issuing an alert to owners of the product and encouraging them to stop using it for children that are old enough to roll over. It stated there had been 10 deaths reported since 2015.
Fisher-Price stated it did not believe its product caused as many deaths as Consumer Reports claimed. According to the company, some of the babies had existing medical conditions or the product had been used incorrectly.
The AAP does not believe the alert was drastic enough and that the inaction of Fisher-Price and the CPCS could lead to more injuries and deaths. The group is calling for stores to pull the item from their shelves.
Concerns about the Britax product were addressed in November between the CPSC and the company when the decision was made to not issue a recall after at least 50 children and 47 adults had been injured. Two members of the commission dissented and stated they believed a recall should have been issued and not doing so would mean “consumers will come up short in terms of safety.” They also expressed concerns that the decision would set a precedent for companies to put the public in harm’s way in the future.
CPSC Wanted Recall, Settlement Resulted in Public Warning
The agency had initially sought a recall for the strollers due to the quick release mechanism that failed to secure the front wheel to the fork. The defect was seen as a substantial hazard that could cause serious injuries. Britax fought against the recall and claimed its product was not defective and posed no risk for injury when used properly.
Injury report related to the Britax stroller included concussions, head and face trauma, dental injuries, and contusions and abrasions. Adults handling the stroller were also injured in ways that included a torn labrum, torn ligaments, fractured bones, contusions, and abrasions.
Britax was tasked with creating a public information campaign to let users of the stroller know of the risks. As part of the campaign, an instructional video will be created that demonstrates safe and correct operation of the quick release on the front wheel of the strollers. The company also agreed to offer replacement parts or discounts on new strollers to customers who requested them.
Regarding the Fisher-Price sleeper, the CPSC recommended the public stop using the sleeper for children aged three months and older or when a child is able to roll over. According to a spokesperson from the agency, other deaths linked to the sleeper are under investigation and if the evidence shows the need for a recall, it will do so.