In July 2021, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began its crackdown on unsafe baby sleep aids. Since then, the agency has taken regulatory actions aimed specifically at ridding the market of any such products, including the now-infamous Fisher-Price® Rock ‘n Play™, which has been connected to roughly 90 infant deaths across the United States.
The latest crackdown by the CPSC involves an extremely popular baby sleep product called The Boppy® Newborn Lounger, manufactured by The Boppy Company and sold at popular retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, Pottery Barn Kids, and online on Amazon.com.
According to the CPSC’s joint recall announcement with The Boppy Company, the Boppy Newborn Lounger is connected to at least eight infant deaths, all of which were caused by accidental suffocation.
The Boppy is a kind of circular pillow with a slight indentation in the middle. It’s designed to be a comfortable “lounger” for infants while their parents/guardians are busy and need to be hands-free. Originally retailed in 2004 and sold between the prices of $30 and $44, The Boppy Company is now voluntarily recalling approximately 3.3 million of its Newborn Loungers.
The recalled products include:
- Boppy® Original Newborn Loungers
- Boppy® Preferred Newborn Loungers
- Pottery Barn Kids Boppy® Newborn Loungers
Issued on Sept. 23, The Boppy Company’s recall is effective immediately and pertains to all models and colors of the Newborn Lounger. Any customer who purchased a Boppy Newborn Lounger may now contact the company for a refund.
Boppy Loungers Are ‘Too Risky’
All eight of the infant deaths connected to the Boppy, which were reported over a five-year period spanning from Dec. 2015 through June 2020, occurred when infants were placed on their back, side, or stomach. Suffocation can occur when infants roll, move, or are placed on the lounger in such a way that it obstructs their breathing.
About the recall, acting Chairman of the CPSC Robert S. Adler said in a statement:
“Loungers and pillow-like products are not safe for infant sleep, due to the risk of suffocation. Since we know that infants sleep so much of the time — even in products not intended for sleep — and since suffocation can happen so quickly, these Boppy lounger products are simply too risky to remain on the market.”
According to both the CPSC and infant sleep experts, such as those at the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no room for debate: Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs on a firm and flat surface — no inclines, no indentations.
Laying flat allows an infant’s airways to remain fully open.
The Tragic Toll of Unsafe Baby Sleep Products
According to the CDC, death during sleep is the leading cause of accidental death among children younger than 1-year-old in the United States.
Unsafe baby sleep products, such as the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper and the now-recalled Boppy, play a contributing role in these tragic losses.
For decades, baby sleep-aid products that do not meet the federal safety standards for cribs, bassinets, and other bedside sleepers have been sold throughout the U.S. Because the baby sleeping products in question were not technically classified as cribs, bassinets, or bedside sleepers, they were not required to meet the federal safety standards that had been established for those kinds of products.
This dangerous loophole was finally closed by the CPSC in July when a bipartisan group of House members voted 3-1 to require any and all baby sleep aid products to meet the federal safety requirements of bassinets and cribs. The Boppy is only the latest product to be impacted by the CPSC’s closing of the loophole.
The CPSC advises all owners of the Boppy Newborn Lounger to stop using the recalled product immediately. Consumers are also advised to contact The Boppy Company for a refund.
The Boppy Company can be contacted by:
- Calling toll-free at 1-800-416-1355
- Visiting www.boppy.com and clicking on “Recall & Safety Alert” to begin the refund process
Note: All brands are trademarks of their respective companies.