A string of baby deaths in the U.S. stretching back to 2009 has prompted Health Canada to issue a warning about two infant rockers.
The products, manufactured by U.S.-based educational-toy giant Fisher-Price, are the Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rockers and the Fisher-Price Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers.
In a July 15 public advisory, Health Canada warned that the rockers should only be used for supervised play, never sleep. “Ensure that this product is never used for baby’s sleep, and that the baby is never left unsupervised or unrestrained in the rockers”, the alert reads.
According to Health Canada, at least 13 infant deaths were reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) between 2009 and 2021 after the babies fell asleep in the Fisher-Price rockers.
No such incidents have been reported in Canada. According to the CPSC website, Fisher-Price has sold more than 17 million of its rockers worldwide since the 1990s.
The federal agency said in the alert that the incline of the product is dangerous to a baby while sleeping because it can cause suffocation. It advised that “the safest place for a baby to sleep is on their back on a firm surface intended for sleep. Products designed for play should not be used for sleep.”
Although neither Fisher-Price nor Health Canada is advising consumers to return the specified products for refund or exchange, the agency did encourage anyone who has purchased either of the products to call Fisher-Price at 800-432-5437 to report any incidents.
Consumers can also report such safety incidents, with the named products or any other merchandise that presents health- or safety-related concerns to Health Canada by filling out a Consumer Product Incident Report Form.
The CPSC site also advises consumers to visit Fisher-Price’s Safe Start webpage for safety videos and additional information, as well as any other warnings for Rockers and other baby products.
Health Canada furnished additional advice about infant sleep safety on its alert page: “Other similar products such as high chairs, baby swings, bouncers, strollers and car seats are made for babies, but also not for sleep. Sleeping in a sitting position can cause your baby’s head to fall forward, which can make it hard to breathe. Babies in Canada have suffocated when sleeping in products not intended for sleep. For more information on safe sleep for your baby, visit Health Canada’s and the Public Health Agency of Canada’s brochure.”