Who owns Fisher-Price? At least 100 infant deaths linked to company's recalled 'Rock 'n Play' sleeper
EAST AURORA, NEW YORK: Fisher-Price, owned by Mattel, is a globally well-known brand for its toys. Recently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleepers, which were initially recalled in April 2019, have been linked to more than 100 infant deaths. Approximately 4.7 million units were affected by the recall in 2019. The CPSC further added that, 'Infant fatalities have occurred in the Rock ‘n Play Sleepers, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.'
During the Great Depression of 1930s, Herman Fisher, Irving Price, his illustrator-artist wife Margaret Evans Price and Hellen Schelle founded the company, Fisher-Price. The company was named was after two of the four partners. Later, Mattel acquired Fisher-Price and it is wholly owned by Mattel since 1993. Mattel, Inc. is an American multinational toy manufacturing and entertainment company founded in January 1945 and headquartered in El Segundo, California.
The initial recall of the Fisher-Price Rock 'n Play Sleepers was announced on April 12, 2019. At the time the original recall was announced, over 30 fatalities had been reported. Since the recall, approximately 70 additional fatalities have been reported, which includes at least 8 fatalities that were reported to have occurred after the initial recall announcement. The CPSC website has mentioned, "Approximately 100 deaths have reportedly occurred while infants were in the products. Fisher-Price notes that in some of the reports, it has been unable to confirm the circumstances of the incidents or that the product was a Rock ‘n Play Sleeper."
According to the Daily Mail, a government probe in 2021 found the company ignored studies saying the product was unsafe before it was released in 2009. It then ignored repeated warnings until the product was finally recalled in 2019. All of the deaths occurred while the babies were inside sleeper and died from asphyxiation caused by the 30-degree incline of the product.
The CPSC Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric's statement issued on January 9, 2023, said, "We are issuing this announcement because, despite their removal from the marketplace and a prohibition on their sale, babies continue to die in these products. We now know of approximately 100 infant deaths in the Rock n' Play, including eight that happened after the recall was announced."
Hoehn-Saric urged people to stop using these sleepers immediately. She further elaborated on the steps taken by CPSC, "In the years since the recalls were first issued, the CPSC has taken numerous steps to ensure that products sold for infant sleep are safe. The Infant Sleep Products Rule requires that all new products sold for infant sleep meet existing safety standards and prohibits the sale of any infant sleep products with an incline of more than 10 degrees. The Safe Sleep for Babies Act, enacted by Congress in 2022, bans all inclined infant sleep products." read the statement. The statement further added that "the safest place for a baby to sleep is a firm, flat surface without any blankets or pillows."