WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a public health warning letter published by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), parents and caregivers were warned to stop using Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie, and Podster Playtime (the “Podsters”) infant loungers retailed by Leachco, Inc. The CPSC issued the warning letter after two infant deaths were linked to the infant loungers.
The CPSC reported that two infants were placed on a Podster and tragically suffocated when they changed position. The incident reports state that the Podster or a different object blocked their mouths and noses, causing them to suffocate. The newborns, a four-month-old and a 17-day-old, tragically passed away back in December 2015 and January 2018 in the United States.
The affected Podsters have a circumference between 71 and 75 inches and have measurements of approximately 23.75 x 21.5 x 8 inches. The infant loungers have a removable cover and padded insert. The lounger covers come in various prints and are either a cotton/polyester blend or are 100% polyester. The lounger covers also come with an elastic center manufactured with a nylon/spandex blend. About 180,000 Podsters were sold in the United States.
According to the news report, infant loungers such as Podsters are not safe for baby sleep. For several decades the CPSC has stressed that the most suitable and safest place for a baby or newborn to sleep is on a “firm, flat surface in a bassinet, crib or play yard.” The CPSC’s consumer warning was issued several months after different brands of infant loungers were recalled. The CPSC is continuing its investigation as to the reason why Leachco is declining to initiate a voluntary recall of these potentially hazardous products. Moreover, the CPSC recommends that infants be placed in their back when sleeping or if the baby will fall asleep. Babies who fall asleep while lying in an upright or inclined position need to be moved to the recommended sleep environment. Parents and caregivers should only use fitted sheets and never add blankets, padded crib bumpers, pillows, or other things to a baby’s sleeping environment to follow safe sleep practices.
CPSC is considering other actions against Leachco, including filing an administrative complaint to protect the public from the danger. Customers are urged to report any incidents concerning Podsters or similar products to saferproducts.gov.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is responsible for protecting the public from products that cause injury or death. Property damage, injuries, and deaths caused by defective consumer products cost the country over $1 trillion annually. The CPSC works to make sure that consumer products are safe for the public.
If your infant has been harmed by an infant lounger or any other type of product, your family may be able to recover economic compensation. Contact Parker Waichman LLP for a free consultation.
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