In light of ‘Rock ‘n Play’ recall, local expert says to remember ABC’s of safe sleep

Keeping Kids Safe

(WYTV) – Fisher-Price has recalled its popular “Rock ‘n Play” product after more than 30 children died. It raises concerns about all restraint-based incline sleepers. One local injury prevention specialist says leaving a baby to sleep in something that requires a restraint poses a greater risk for suffocation or strangulation.

The Rock ‘n Play was once a favorite among new parents, but now the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is recalling all 4.7 million units from stores.

“It’s pretty scary when you hear the warnings that other parents have had such tragedies happen,” said Laura McHugh, a concerned mother.

The CPSC says the danger comes when infants roll from their back onto their stomach or side while unrestrained.

“In most of the cases, the baby wasn’t buckled in and they would roll over and it would almost be like a smothering effect,” said Bill McMahon, an injury prevention coordinator for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley.

McMahon says leaving a baby to sleep in something that requires a three-point harness — much like the Rock ‘n Play, some strollers and even car seats — poses the risk that a baby could roll or turn into an unsafe position and be incapable of moving, leading to suffocation or strangulation.

“You need to make sure that your baby is in a safe sleep environment — it’s referred to as the ABC’s of Sleep,” McMahon said.

So, when putting your baby to bed, they should be “alone,” on their “backs” and in a “crib,” with no stuffed animals, blankets or baby bumpers.

“Baby bumpers are banned in the state of Ohio. So you just want to make sure that there’s nothing in there, that they’re on a nice, smooth, firm surface on their backs,” McMahon said.

McMahon says the Mahoning Valley and Mahoning County alone have made great strides with the “MY Baby’s 1st Coalition” to aggressively educate new parents about safe sleep.

“Akron Children Hospital is huge into that with the ABC’s of Sleep,” McMahon said.

To learn more about the ABC’s of Sleep program at Akron Children’s Hospital, visit their website.

In the meantime, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends anyone with the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play to immediately stop using it and contact the company for a refund.

Fisher-Price asks you to mail two small hub assembly parts. The hub assemblies are essentially your proof of purchase. Package the hub assemblies and return them to Fisher-Price in a prepaid shipping label. If you still have your original receipt, include it in the mailer. If you don’t, write the month and year of purchase on one of the parts.

You can also contact Fisher-Price at 866-812-6518 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday for more information or report an incident to the CPSC with an online form.

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