Despite recalls, deaths, some day cares using inclined sleepers

SAN ANTONIO – Some day cares are using recalled infant inclined sleep products that have been linked to more than 50 deaths, a survey by two consumer advocate groups found.

The survey by U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education and Kids in Danger found that 1 in 10 day cares use at least one inclined sleep product. 

The survey was done three months after Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million Rock 'n Play Sleepers and Kids II recalled nearly 700,000 of its inclined rocking sleepers. 

"Every day, millions of parents drop their kids off, assuming their day cares have the information they need to keep their kids safe," Adam Garber, a PIRG watchdog, said in a statement.  

The survey was conducted after Garber, a father, found his own day care in Pennsylvania was unaware of the recall and was still using the Fisher-Price sleeper. 

Texas was one of three states surveyed. Some Texas day cares responded that they were using some recalled sleepers even though the state prohibits using recalled products. 

"This recent survey shows that even in those states with such laws, many day care centers still remain in the dark about recalls," said Rachel Rabkin Peachman, of Consumer Reports.

The consumer groups behind the survey blame an information gap and a recall system that relies on media to spread the word about recalls and mail-in registration cards.

At least 53 babies are known to have died in infant inclined sleep products, according to Consumer Reports. 

Because babies' heads are heavy and their necks are weak, their heads can flop forward, compressing the airway and increasing the risk of suffocation, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

The AAP recommends babies sleep on their backs on a flat surface.

What can parents do? 

Consumer Reports recommends parents ask their day care provider how it handles recalls and ask specifically if it has removed all infant inclined sleep products. 

Government regulators are assessing industry standards for infant sleep products.  

Legislation banning the sale of the products has been introduced in Congress. 

In the meantime, inclined products marketed for sleep or as rockers remain on the market for parents to buy. 

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