Product Recalls Lawyer
Fisher-Price, one of the leading baby and child product companies, had recalled their 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soothers on June 4, 2021. This product had led to four infant deaths, including an 11-week-old from Colorado, a 2-month-old from Nevada, another 2-month-old from Michigan, and a 4-month-old infant between April 2019 and February 2020. In one case amongst these deaths, the infant had turned on her side, in which the cushion from the product had restricted her breathing, leading to suffocation. In a market that specializes in products for younger children, the risk for bodily injury has the potential to increase. However, Fisher-Price has had numerous products recalled due to safety concerns and complications, including their 2-in-1 Soothe ‘n Play Gliders, which was simultaneously recalled with the Rock ‘n Glide Soother. There are no reported deaths with this product.
William Wallace, the manager of safety policy at Consumer Reports, had expressed his concerns with Mattel, the parent company of Fisher-Price, regarding their commitment to safety protocols for their customers. Specifically, he mentions the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, which was a similar infant sleep-based product that has led to dozens of infant fatalities. The analogous fatal outcomes of these closely related products, along with the continuation of these sleep-related products have compelled the House Committee on Oversight and Reform to hold an investigation of the multiple fatalities that Fisher Price products have caused on the following Monday from the recall date. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney, chairman of the committee, has stated that these two years of investigation will lead to Mattel’s CEO, Ynon Kriez, to testify before the Committee to determine if profits are placed on a higher standard in lieu of safety.
Discrepancy Between Usage and Advertisement
Warnings looming over the purchase of Fisher-Price sleeping products have been enacted dating back to 2019. Fisher-Price determined that the 4-in-1 Rock ‘n Glide Soothers was not proposed as an “overnight sleeper”. Nevertheless, even though this product has not been specified as a “sleeper”, it surely has been marketed pointedly for sleep, exclaiming several instances marketing for sleep such as “the Fisher-Price infant seat gives you the change to do other things while your baby gets rocked to sleep”. The product goes as far as to visually advertise infants sleeping.
Divergence Between Infant Sleeping Guidelines and Product Purpose
The American Academy of Pediatrics have outlined the appropriate guidelines in which an infant is supposed to lie down. Fisher- Price products such as the ones recalled on June 4, 2021, do not align to these notions, rather contrasting the guidelines all together. The guidelines include the following: infants should sleep alone on their back, on a firm/flat surface, no soft bedding, and most importantly, no restraints. This product and products of similar nature completely diverge from these guidelines. Within the hazardous precautions of the product, it states that there is a danger of suffocation without the use of the product’s restraints. They contain soft padding on the headrest and sidewalls, allowing the infant to possibly turn over and block the babies’ breathing. These products have the infants laying down on an incline, allowing the chance that the babies’ heads can drop below their shoulders, inducing restricted breathing.
Despite being a household name in the baby and young child market, Fisher-Price is under fire for multiple recalled products and deaths that are followed by their dangerous products. A multitude of incidents that contrast expert opinions has inferred that the company is more interested in profit compared to the safety of its customers. Mattel’s CEO Ynon Kriez will appear in the company’s first congressional appearance since the initial sleepers were recalled in April 2019.