About 3.3 million newborn loungers manufactured by the Boppy Co. have been recalled after eight babies died from suffocation while sleeping in the devices. Babies should never be left to sleep on an incline, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Instead, they should always be placed on their backs on a firm, flat surface with no pillows, blankets, bumper pads or soft toys nearby.
The eight infants who died were placed in the loungers on their backs, sides or stomachs, any of which can create a dangerous condition when the lounger is at an incline.
The problem is that infants who cannot yet hold their heads up can suffocate when placed on an incline or on a soft surface. Their heads can dip below a safe angle for breathing, and infants have little ability to shift positions. Sometimes, it appears infants placed on their backs shifted positions, but they suffocated after rolling into another position where their breathing was obstructed, or after rolling off the lounger completely onto a pillow or soft bedding.
“We are devastated to hear of these tragedies,” said a spokesperson for Boppy. The company says it is dedicated to “doing everything possible to safeguard babies,” including educating parents on the dangers of unsupervised use of their loungers.
In a statement, Boppy also said that the newborn loungers were “not marketed as an infant sleep product and includes warnings against unsupervised use.” However, it would be understandable for parents to assume these loungers were a safe place for infants to sleep.
Under product liability law, companies can sometimes be held responsible even when their products are misused, as long as they were misused in a foreseeable way.
What products are being recalled?
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are three Boppy newborn lounger products being recalled:
- Boppy Original Newborn Loungers
- Boppy Preferred Newborn Loungers
- Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Loungers
The newborn loungers were sold between January 2004 and September 2021 in the U.S. and Canada. Retailers who sold the products include Pottery Barn Kids, Amazon, Walmart and Target.
If you own these loungers, stop using them immediately.
Boppy is offering a full refund. Contact them through their website.
“These types of incidents are heartbreaking,” said the head of the CPSC in a news release. “Since suffocation can happen so quickly, these Boppy lounger products are simply too risky to remain on the market.”