WASHINGTON Nap Nanny baby recliners will be taken off the market by four national retailers.
Amazon.com, Buy Buy Baby, Diapers.com and Toys R Us/Babies R Us agreed to recall more than 150,000 of the recliners amid reports of at least five infant deaths and 70 reports of kids nearly falling out of the recliners, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced Thursday.
The recall covers Nap Nanny Generations One and Two, and the Chill model infant recliners which were sold between 2009 and 2012. The Nap Nanny was designed to mimic the curves of a baby car seat, elevating an infant slightly to help reduce reflux, gas, stuffiness or other problems.
The CPSC warned parents and caregivers that the Nap Nanny contains defects in its design, warnings and instructions. The agency said the product poses a substantial risk of injury and death to infants when it filed a complaint against the manufacturer earlier this month.
The four retailers agreed to voluntarily participate in the recall of the Nap Nanny because its manufacturer is unable or unwilling to participate, the government agency said in a statement.
The manufacturer, Baby Matters LLC of Berwyn, Pa., told The Associated Press earlier this month that it had gone out of business. At the time, the company's website carried a statement from owner and founder Leslie Gudel that the company didn't believe the CPSC complaint had merit and that its products were safe when used as instructed.
"The loss of an infant is an unthinkable tragedy, and I am truly heartbroken for the families who have lost a child," said the statement, which was still on the company website at press time Thursday. "But the fact that infants have died 'while using' the Nap Nanny improperly, such as when used in a crib where the child could suffocate on a crib bumper or a blanket, does not mean our product caused the child's death or is hazardous."
The first two versions of the foam recliner were recalled in July 2010 after the CPSC became aware of one death and 22 reports of infants hanging out or falling over the side of the Nap Nanny even though most of the infants had been placed in the recliner's harness. Since then, the agency learned of four more deaths. Four were linked to the first versions of the recliner, and one to the newer model.
Five thousand Nap Nanny Generation One and 50,000 Generation Two models were sold between 2009 and early 2012. About 100,000 Chill models have been sold since January 2011. All models were priced around $130.
The CPSC advised consumers seeking more information about the recall to review the return policies of the retailers participating in the recall.