Fisher-Price has been forced to recall hundreds of thousands of baby soothers after a shocking report linked the product to numerous infant deaths.
Fisher-Price, which was bought by toy giant Mattel in 1993, recalled 270,000 of its gliders last week after four infant deaths which took place between 2019 and 2020 were linked to the products.
According to a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the four incidents occurred when infants were placed in the gliders without restraints, allowing them to turn onto their stomachs and risk suffocation.
In a separate damning report released this week, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform accused Fisher-Price of ignoring repeated safety warnings about another product, resulting in more than 50 infant deaths.
The retailer’s once popular ‘Rock ‘n’ Play’ sleeper was put on the market in 2009, before being recalled in 2019 following what the committee’s chairwoman Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney called a “national scandal”.
The investigation accused the company of failing to accurately vet the product for safety before it was launched, leading to dozens of infants to roll over onto their stomachs when left alone.
According to the report, which was released on Monday ahead of a hearing in which Mattel’s chief executive Ynon Kreiz and Fisher-Prices senior vice president Chuck Scothon will testify, the company received warning signs about the product before it even went on sale.
Internal safety reports reportedly warned of the dangers of the sleeper in 2008, while Fisher-Price is understood to have only consulted a single doctor before launching the product, who was later accused of practicing medicine without a licence.
In February 2018, a year before the product was eventually recalled, Fisher-Price was reportedly aware of 14 infant deaths in the sleeper.
“I assure you that everyone at Fisher-Price believes that every product we offer is safe and we do not and would never sell any product about which we thought otherwise,” Scothon said.
Kreiz added: “On behalf of myself and everyone at Mattel, I want to convey my deep and sincere condolences to parents and anyone affected by the heartbreaking tragedies we will discuss today.
“I am a father of four children, and I can only imagine that there cannot be a more terrible loss than that of a child.”