Rock ‘N Play Baby Sleeper was not in Maltese shops – MCCAA

Rock 'N Play Baby Sleeper

The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority says that a baby product being recalled across the UK, US and Europe, was not available in Maltese shops.

Malta’s Consumer Authority has told that a 4.7 million unit recall of the Rock ‘N Play Baby Sleeper produced by Mattel – Fisher-Price will not impact Malta because the product was not distributed in Maltese retailers.

The news comes after the company decided on April 12th to recall all of its units after it emerged that at least 30 infants had tragically died over the last decade. Their deaths were understood to be linked to the product.

The popular baby sleeper had originally entered the market in 2009 and had been met with thousands of reviews from parents.

A joint warning from Fisher-Price and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said that, ‘Infant fatalities have occurred in Rock ’n Play Sleepers, after the infants rolled from their back to their stomach or side while unrestrained, or under other circumstances.’

The company stresses that, ‘consumers should immediately stop using the product.’

Help or hindrance?

The popular product and its 36 different versions, vibrates, plays music, rocks and most importantly ensured that that infants actually slept and parents could be spared more sleepless nights. At the same time, it helped prevent a number of preventable accidents which came of parents sleeping with their babies in the same bed.

But, according to guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics, they are not suitable for an infant’s healthy sleep.

AAP states that babies should sleep on their backs, on flat surfaces that are not movable and without a pillow or blanket.  It is intended that this would prevent instances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) because it prevents suffocation. Since the introduction of this guidance in 1992, the number of SIDS-related deaths has gone down.

Because of its reclining design, the Rock N Play baby sleeper actually risked constricting an infant’s airway leading to Asphyxia.  Some of the later models actually came with items like pillows and toys which experts say increased the risk.

One sleep expert speaking to National Public Radio in the US, explains that parents buying the product are not stupid and recognise that crib sleeping is safer but it is the convenience of a product that helps infants and parents to sleep.

Alexis Dubief explains that, ‘Newborns do not sleep well. They have a poorly regulated system. And so they need a lot of assistance to fall asleep and stay asleep, and babies do tend to sleep fairly well in [Rock ’n Plays … Many parents understand that sleep in the crib is the gold standard for safety. They understand that. These are not parents who are uninformed. But they’re also miserably sleep deprived. The reality is people suffer seriously from sleep deprivation.’

Alerting companies

Before the MCCAA had issued its guidance on the baby product, had actively spoken with a number of retailers across Malta to determine if the product was sold in shops and if a recall had been issued to them before MCCAA responded.

Those that replied explained that they did not stock the specific item or were not stocking Mattel – Fisher-Price products at all.

MCCAA latterly told that they have now informed local companies about the recall and that they are coordinating with the US Consumer body as well as the European Market Surveillance Authority.

They outline the following models as those distributed to Europe: FWX180, SKUs, DMJ24, FHW34, FWH33 and FNR95.

Regarding online sales, the authority says that the ‘distributor has also informed the Authority that this product was available through Amazon; Amazon has been contacted in an effort to locate all recalled products.’

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