BERKS COUNTY, PA. – A family in Berks County, Pennsylvania, is suing the manufacturer of an infant sleeper for the death of a 3-month-old child. The family members claim that the inclined sleeper was defective, and they have been advocating for it to be pulled off store shelves.
The tragedy occurred in May 2017, when a father put his infant son down for a nap. He placed the child in a Chicco-brand inclined infant sleeper for about 30 minutes and returned to find his son unresponsive. The child’s mother performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but the child did not survive.
The child’s parents have now filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the sleeper, Chicco U.S.A., alleging that the product caused their son’s death. Their suit claims that the inclined nature of the sleeper allows children’s heads to move forward and to the side, in a chin-to-chest fashion, which can lead to asphyxiation. The parents not only want justice for their son but also hope to see the sleeper taken out of stores.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has already recalled five other brands of inclined infant sleepers. The recalls have included more than 4.5 million Fisher-Price “Rock ‘N’ Play” sleepers. The recalled sleepers so far have been linked to dozens of deaths, which prompted action from the CPSC. But despite the CPSC and Chicco knowing about the death of the 3-month-old Pennsylvania boy, the Chicco inclined sleeper remains on shelves.
The onslaught of infant sleeper recalls has some parents questioning the system in which children’s products are released to market. Most toys and merchandise do not have required federal standards, so their safety is only questioned when children are hurt. Some child safety advocates are calling for testing prior to marketing, particularly for products that children will use for sleeping.
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