Product safety review of baby bouncers, rockers and inclined sleep products
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has commenced a safety review of products designed for infants, such as bouncers, rockers, and inclined sleep products.
The review specifically targets inclined baby products used for sleeping, where a baby’s head and back are inclined, many of which also include a harness of belt to secure the baby into the product.
The ACCC has commenced the review on the back of findings by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission which indicate at least 74 infant fatalities have occurred in the United States while using bouncers, rockers and recliners.
Of the 74 fatalities, the ACCC said, more than 30 occurred in the Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper and five in the Kids II Rocking Sleeper, usually after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side, and suffocated.
The ACCC advises all Fisher-Price Rock ‘N Play Sleeper and the Kids II Rocking Sleeper models sold in Australia have been voluntarily recalled and there have been no reports of injuries or death.
Following the recall and the US findings, the ACCC review will look at a wide range of products including bouncers, rockers, swings, loungers, bassinet-type products, wedges, recliners and inclined sleep accessories, some which claim to be safe and suitable for sleeping.
ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said the commission was placing a focus on these types of products because of “increasing concerns”.
“We are going to take a thorough look at the types of infant inclined products available in Australia and assess the potential risks associated with their use for sleeping or, even in some cases, playing,” she said.
As well as examining the products themselves, the review will include a review of scientific literature, scoping of available incident data, consideration of international regulation and changes, as well as engagement with industry, health experts and international product safety regulators as required.
The review, Ms Rickard said, is consistent with one of the ACCC’s Product Safety Priorities for 2019, being to help prevent injuries and deaths to infants caused by unsafe sleeping products.
Further information on the Australian recalls is available on the Product Safety Australia website.
Advice to consumers, including early childhood education and care (ECEC) services
If you own any type of infant inclined product:
- never leave baby unsupervised in the product
- stop using the product when baby begins to roll
- carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use of the product
- put the product on a flat floor surface, away from potential hazards.
To obtain a copy of the review to distribute to parents and caregivers, please see here.