The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play, a popular, hammock-like bed for infants, has been linked to at least 32 deaths and was recalled by Fischer Price in April.
Despite that highly publicized recall, a survey performed by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) and Kids in Danger found that many daycares are continuing to use these recalled beds. One in 10 of the 600-plus daycares that participated in the survey revealed that they were still using at least one of these recalled sleepers.
“Announcing a recall does little to keep children safe if companies don’t make efforts to reach the users of their faulty products,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger, in a recent press release. “Laws to prohibit the use of recalled products in child care is a good first step, but an effective recall depends on companies taking aggressive action to reach all users of their products and encouragement to participate in the recall.”
This survey was performed after Adam Garber, consumer watchdog for PIRG, dropped his child off at daycare, only to find out that the center was still using the recalled Rock ‘n Plays. This discovery led him to wonder how many other daycares were still using them.
As evidenced by the survey, in which PIRG and Kids in Danger called or emailed daycare centers to inquire if the beds were still being used, it’s clear that many people completely missed the recall or chose to ignore it. Indeed, Mattel, the parent company of Fisher-Price, estimates that only 5 percent of the 4.7 million recalled Rock ‘n Plays will be returned to the store, meaning that millions of other parents and schools may continue using these beds.Yawning baby taking a nap
As a result of these findings, PIRG and Kids in Danger are urging legislators to work on creating laws which will ban the use of recalled children’s products in daycares and schools. Currently, only a handful of states, like Washington, Wisconsin and Texas, require that recalled products are promptly removed from childcare facilities. Of course, the survey found that some daycares that are still using Rock ‘n Plays are in those states with laws already in place.
The two consumer watch groups involved in the survey are also asking that Mattel and other companies take a more proactive approach in ensuring that these products are removed, not just from store shelves, but also from homes and schools.
“If companies are going to collect so much private information on consumers for marketing purposes, they should at least use it for some good by directly warning parents and child care providers, and other consumers, about dangerous products they recalled,” said Garber in a statement.