More Infant Lounger Deaths Than Previously Reported

More Infant Lounger Deaths Than Previously Reported

In recent years, infant loungers have become popular purchases for families welcoming new babies. These loungers are supposed to offer exhausted parents a safe and comfortable spot to soothe their infants. However, a series of tragic incidents have raised concerns about the safety of these popular baby products. Despite federal warnings and a recall of over 3 million units of the Boppy Newborn Lounger, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has faced obstacles in regulating cushioned infant loungers. Uncovered documents reveal that twice as many infant lounger deaths have occurred as previously reported.

Infant Lounger Deaths Prompt Boppy Newborn Lounger Recall

In a grave acknowledgment of the dangers posed by the Boppy Newborn Lounger, the CPSC recalled over 3 million units of this popular product in September 2021. Tragically, several infants had already suffocated while using the product. In its announcement, the CPSC revealed that eight infant lounger deaths occurred between December 2015 and June 2020.

The Boppy Newborn Lounger recall raised troubling questions about the broader safety regulations surrounding other similar infant loungers. The CPSC reportedly aimed to mandate manufacturers to redesign similar loungers or stop selling them altogether. However, this initiative was scrapped.

More Infant Lounger Deaths Than Initially Announced

The alarming toll of infant lounger deaths persists, underscoring the urgency of addressing this safety issue. Since September 2021 alone, at least five babies have tragically lost their lives in incidents associated with the Boppy Newborn Lounger.

Disturbingly, a May 2023 investigation has uncovered 21 other deaths attributed to infant loungers between December 2015 and September 2021 in addition to the five deaths. This number surpassed previous warnings issued by the CPSC. NBC News used government data, court documents, public reports reviewed by the CPSC, medical examiners’ reports, and records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request to determine this count. Suffocation, asphyxiation, or a loss of oxygen were cited as the causes of death in these 21 cases. Seven lawsuits blamed the loungers alone for the babies’ deaths.

On June 6, 2023, the CPSC confirmed two more deaths potentially linked to the Boppy Newborn Lounger after the initial recall. NBC noted that these two deaths did not appear to be among the 26 in its previous count. Although The Boppy Company recalled these products in 2021, people have continued to sell them on online marketplaces like Facebook.

The Reality of Unidentified Infant Lounger Deaths

One of the significant challenges in addressing infant lounger deaths is accurately identifying and reporting product-related fatalities. In some cases, the cause of death may be mistakenly attributed to other factors, leading to underreporting. Product safety experts have expressed concerns that the 26 infant lounger deaths counted by NBC News are not the full picture. Since autopsies do not always list the specific consumer product, the number of deaths linked to infant loungers could be much higher.

Infant Loungers Escape Strict Regulatory Action

Safe sleep guidelines indicate that infants should only sleep on their backs on firm, flat surfaces. If a baby falls asleep on a lounger, they are susceptible to several complications. Deaths associated with infant loungers have two main suspected causes. The infants may suffocate when rolling over, pushing their face against the plush surface, or die from positional asphyxia when angled in the lounger, blocking their breathing. Babies also sometimes rolled off the loungers and then suffocated.

Infant loungers have largely eluded regulatory oversight due to their classification as awake-time products rather than sleep aids. Boppy representatives argue the company never marketed these loungers for infants to sleep in. However, this classification fails to acknowledge that infants can fall asleep at any time. While the CPSC scrutinizes infant sleep products, new federal laws do not apply to infant loungers.

Also, contradictory messaging and the influence of social media further complicate the understanding of the appropriate use of infant loungers. Pictures of infants peacefully sleeping in infant loungers have circulated on social media. These pictures further fuel misinformation and confusion about the risks of allowing infants to sleep in loungers.

Prioritizing Safe Sleep Practices for Infants Amid Pending Regulations

The CPSC is expected to begin forming rules for infant loungers soon. Yet, enforcing new regulations on infant loungers will take time. In the meantime, parents and caretakers need to receive proper information and education on safe sleep practices. The CPSC advises that caregivers ensure infants sleep on their backs in firm cribs, bassinets, or play yards. Furthermore, the agency stresses that blankets, pillows, or padded crib bumpers should not be present in an infant’s sleeping space.

The Lake Law Firm Is Here for Families Affected by Infant Loungers

At The Lake Law Firm, we understand the devastating impact that infant lounger tragedies can have on families. If your infant has been injured while using an infant lounger, we are here to help. Despite federal warnings and recalls, the safety concerns surrounding these popular baby products persist. We remain committed to providing support during this difficult time as more infant lounger deaths surface. Contact The Lake Law Firm today at (888) 525-3529 to explore your legal options.