(NEXSTAR) — Parents should immediately stop using four potentially hazardous infant loungers in the wake of two infant deaths, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned Thursday.
Leachco, Inc., the Ada, Oklahoma-based manufacturer, has so far declined to issue a voluntary recall for the products: the Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie and Podster Playtime, according to the CPSC.
The safety commission said they issued the news release to “warn the public quickly of the hazard” after two children suffocated after they were left on a Podster.
The lounger allegedly blocked the infants’ noses and mouths when they changed position. One of the children, 17 days old, died in January of 2018, and the other, a 4-month-old, died in December, 2015.
The CPSC said in part:
“Infant loungers like Podsters are not safe for sleep. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their back. Babies who fall asleep in an inclined or upright position should be moved to a safe sleep environment. To follow safe sleep practices, parents and caregivers should use a fitted sheet only and never add blankets, pillows, padded crib bumpers, or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment.”
The warning from the safety commission follows September 2021 recall of 3.3 million newborn loungers from the Bobby Company after the product was linked to eight infant deaths.
The CPSC says it intends to consider other actions against Leachco, including a possible administrative complaint to “protect consumers from this hazard.”
Leachco said in a statement that the Podster is “not a sleep product” and that the “CPSC is wrongly telling consumers to stop using the Podster altogether instead of explaining that no lounger should be used in a crib or bed and no lounger is safe for unsupervised sleep.”
The statement went on to say that “the loss of an infant is truly tragic and families who suffered that loss have our deepest sympathies,” but rejected the CPSC’s findings and maintained that a ban would “leave families and caregivers with fewer safe ways to care for awake infants.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics says infant loungers like Podsters are not safe for sleep, adding that infants should sleep on their backs and be positioned on a “firm sleep surface that meets CPSC standards.”