Chairs Maloney, Krishnamoorthi Request Information on Inclined Infant Products Amid Ongoing Safety Concerns for Babies
Washington, D.C. (September 2, 2022)—Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requesting information about how the Commission is working to protect babies from harmful inclined products. The Committee first began investigating this issue in 2019, leading to a CPSC final rule banning infant inclined sleeping products in June 2021. This new letter follows a June 14, 2022, statement released by CPSC and Mattel Inc. warning of 13 infant deaths associated with incline rockers and advising consumers against using the products for sleep or leaving infants unsupervised or unrestrained in those rockers.
“Given continued infant deaths from inclined products, we are concerned that companies may not be fully transparent about the risks they pose,” Chairs Maloney and Krishnamoorthi wrote. “We are seeking information from the CPSC about its knowledge of these risks and the Commission’s ability to oversee effectively the manufacturers of these dangerous products.”
In 2019, Chairs Maloney and Krishnamoorthi investigated inclined sleep products reportedly tied to the deaths of dozens of infants. After the Committee announced a hearing on the issue, the CPSC issued a final rule banning infant inclined sleeping products. The rule went into effect on June 23, 2022, making it unlawful to sell non-compliant infant sleep products manufactured on or after that date.
In response to the safety concerns of these products, President Joe Biden also signed into law on May 16, 2022, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which bans dangerous inclined sleepers and crib bumpers marketed for use by infants that have been linked to hundreds of infant deaths. In connection with that law, the CPSC issued another rule giving manufacturers 180 days to comply with the new law.
Neither the new law nor CPSC rule, however, make it clear whether the rule applies to all products with an incline of more than ten degrees in which babies might sleep, regardless of their intended or marketed use.
“Given these concerns, we are seeking additional clarity as to whether the CPSC’s anticipated rule will apply to all products that could pose risks to infants during sleep,” the Chairs wrote. “Simply because an inclined product is not marketed for sleeping does not mean that infants will not fall asleep in such a product, and it is important to understand how this rule would affect the full range of products that have an incline of more than ten degrees.”
In the letter, the Chairs requested information to clarify what products are covered under the CPSC rule.
Click here to read the letter to the CPSC.