Another inclined sleeping device has caused an unfortunate tragedy for one family of Sinking Springs, PA. After putting him down for a 30-minute nap, Jayme Minnich saw his infant son, Cayson, wasn’t breathing. But even after his wife performed CPR and being rushed to the hospital, it was too late for the 3-month-old child.
Cayson had been sleeping on his back in the Lullaby Dream Playard, manufactured by Chicco USA. In a lawsuit against the company, filed by the Minnich’s, it alleges Cayson suffocated while sleeping in the inclined sleeper.
The devastating trend in infant death from inclined sleepers has the American Academy of Pediatrics concerned. That’s because the Minnich’s case isn’t that unusual. The year 2019 saw a nationwide recall of millions of inclined sleepers due to suffocation and strangulation hazards.
Starting with the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper which recalled nearly five million devices, Kids II then recalled over half a million of its own version. Fisher-Price later recalled another inclined sleeping accessory for the Ultra-Lite Day and Night Play Yards. There have been 50 infant deaths tied to these very inclined sleepers.
The AAP, along with the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau, all say inclined and angled sleepers defy safe sleep recommendations. When going to sleep, babies should be put on their backs by themselves, unrestrained, and on a firm flat surface. Bumpers and soft bedding should not be with the child either, as they can roll over and suffocate or get tangled up in it.
William Wallace, manager of home and safety policy for Consumer Reports, said in an article that people will stay unaware of the dangers of these inclined sleep products if legislation and recalls of are not put in place.
“If these steps are not taken, most inclined sleep products will remain in stores and in people’s homes—with families largely unaware of the risks the sleepers pose,” he said.
Families should still remain vigilant about using inclined sleeping products with their children, even if a recall hasn’t been initiated. Many sleep products, such as the Fisher-Price and Kids II, have restraints to keep the baby in place. Restraints, as mentioned above, are not a safe sleep recommendation by the AAP and pose a hazard to the child.
Update October 31, 2019 – The CPSC announced that a new study confirms babies should sleep on recommended firm, flat surfaces.
The CPSC has so far received 1,108 incident reports related to inclined sleeping products that occurred between January 2005 and June 2019. Unfortunately this number includes 73 infant deaths.
The agency hired a mechanical engineer who specializes in biomechanics as an independent expert to conduct the study. Erin Mannen, Ph.D works in this area at the Medical Sciences division of the University of Arkansas.
Dr. Mannen conducted infant testing in order to evaluate the design of inclined sleeping products. They performed the study by measuring muscle movements and oxygen saturation with infants who were placed in a variety of products and positions; flat crib, inclined crib, and several other inclined sleep products.
None of the inclined products tested safe for infant sleep. The report concludes that products with inclines of 10 degrees or less, that are on flat and rigid surfaces, are most likely the safest for infant sleep. Additionally, plush-like sleeping surfaces pose a danger to infants.
Infant death is a terribly traumatizing experience for anyone to go through. We understand the sensitivity of this matter and urge you to take action immediately and at your own pace.
If you have recently lost a baby, we urge you to seek emotional support and help through whatever means is appropriate to your personal beliefs. There are many online support groups available specifically for parents and family members who have experienced SIDS or SUID loss. One such group is called First Candle.
Here is a direct link to a free brochure they published titled, “Surviving the Death of a Baby — Grief Resources From First Candle“.
Do you have a Chicco Playard Lawsuit?
Our law firm is interested in hearing from families that may have suffered the devastating injury or loss of a child who was in an inclined Chicco Playard. We understand how difficult this process can be. Holding the manufacturer accountable by filing an inclined sleeper lawsuit is one way to help you recover. We offer a Free Case Evaluation and would be honored to work with you.