The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has urged people to stop purchasing and using recalled loungers — the Boppy Original Newborn Loungers, Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers, and Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers — after more infant deaths were linked to the products.
While the CPSC said there have been eight deaths linked to the loungers, a recent report from NBC News alleged there have been far more. The outlet claimed that — between Dec. 2015 and Sept. 2021 — there were at least 25 deaths associated with the loungers. They said that is “almost certainly an undercount,” since experts told them autopsies do not always mention specific products.
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NBC News used autopsy reports; lawsuits and other court records; interviews with attorneys; data from the CPSC that compiles information from death certificates, medical examiner reports, news articles, and reports from local government agencies; and the CPSC’s SaferProducts.gov database, which includes information from consumers, local health and government officials, and others to arrive at the number.
The CPSC recalled the loungers in Sept. 2021 because infants could suffocate if they rolled, more, or were placed in a position that obstructs their breathing. There was also the threat of the child rolling off the lounger and having their airways obstructed by an “external surface” such as an adult pillow.
Since the recall, retailers have not been legally able to sell the loungers, but the CPSC has seen the products up for sale on secondhand sites like Facebook Marketplace. Both the CPSC and The Boppy Company, of Golden, Colorado have sent requests for these products to be taken down.
According to the CPSC’s announcement in June, “it is unlawful to offer for sale a CPSC recalled product on an online marketplace or to sell or donate a recalled product in any other manner.”
“CPSC and Boppy urge consumers to stop using the recalled Newborn Loungers and participate in the recall,” the announcement said. “Consumers can contact The Boppy Company for instructions on how to dispose of the product and get a refund.”
They then reminded families of safe sleep practices that help reduce the risk Sudden Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS). Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs on a firm flat surface that is free of any blankets, pillows, padded crib bumpers, or any other items. You can find more information about safe sleep guidelines here.
When shopping secondhand especially, you should always check to see if the product has been recalled. You can also visit saferproducts.gov to see if a product has been reported as unsafe. Not every “unsafe” product will be recalled, so this is a good tool to see if people have concerns about their purchases. You can also file your own report if you think a product is dangerous.
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