You probably heard about the major Fisher Price Rock n' Play recall a few months ago—and when you did, you may have returned your version of the wildly popular product, stashed it away or even just tossed it in the garbage.
The recall was a hot topic in mom groups and parenting circles (and the conversations showed just how desperate parents are for sleep) but a new report indicates that staff at childcare centers may not have heard about or acted on the recall.
Let's do a quick refresher: Rock 'n Plays were baby registry staples for years, with parents swearing by the affordable device's ability to rock their babies or even ease reflux issues thanks to the inclined positioning. But after numerous infant deaths occurred while babies were sleeping in Rock n' Plays, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a recall, which led Fisher Price to voluntarily pull the product from shelves and offer refunds to parents who had purchased it.
Several other inclined sleepers were recalled in the wake of all this. At this point, many parents chose to part ways with their inclined sleepers, but some daycare centers have not followed suit.
According to The Huffington Post, a dad named Adam Garber recently realized his child's daycare center was still using inclined sleepers, which may place a baby's head at an unsafe position and increase the risk of strangulation.
"I chatted with the head teacher, and she was really confused. She thought there had been a warning issued only saying that you had to use them properly ... and that was true initially—there was a warning—but then there was a full recall," Garber told The Huffington Post.
The teacher ultimately discontinued use of these products, but Garber wondered if this was a sign of a larger issue and his concern, sadly, seemed to have had merit.
The United States Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG)—which happens to be where Garber works—teamed up with Kids in Danger to look into this, and the findings show that more awareness of the recall is needed in the childcare industry.
The company reached out to over 600 day care centers (including both facilities and in-home care centers) and received responses from 376 centers. Of these, 1 in 10 reported continued use of recalled sleepers. As Garber explains, most of these child care centers simply didn't know about the recall.
He and the team behind this report believes this highlights a need for more communication and alerts when products are recalled or questioned. It begs the question: Why isn't there a better system for alerting schools and daycare centers about news that directly affects the children in their care?
"Announcing a recall does little to keep children safe if companies don't make efforts to reach the users of their faulty products," Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger, explains. "Laws to prohibit the use of recalled products in child care is a good first step, but an effective recall depends on companies taking aggressive action to reach all users of their products and encouragement to participate in the recall."
As a parent, you can certainly bring up issues like this with your child's care provider, but the report definitely highlights a problem that manufacturers and day care providers need to be aware of when it comes to recalls. It's important to make parents aware of these issues, but it's important to realize that parents are not the only ones caring for children. It takes a village and we need to make sure the whole village hears the news when a product is recalled.
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- Infant rocking sleepers from multiple brands are being recalled weeks after Fisher-Price