Press Release

Welch, Blumenthal, and Markey Urge CPSC to Implement Stricter Safety Measures to Protect Infants and Toddlers

Mar 14, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) sent a letter to U.S. Consumer Protect Safety Commission (CPSC) Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric urging the CPSC to pursue a recall for Mattel’s Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rocker and the similarly-designed Kids2 Bright Starts Rocker, both of which have been linked to numerous infant deaths. The Senators also pressed CPSC to more aggressively protect infants from the risks associated with rockers as it develops the first federal safety standard for infant and infant-to-toddler rockers. 

“Between 2009 and 2021, 13 infants died after being placed in Fisher-Price Infant-to-Toddler Rockers and Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers, leading CPSC to issue a safety warning on June 14, 2022. The safety warning emphasized that these products should not be used for sleep, and babies should never be left unsupervised or unrestrained in them. That same day, CPSC issued a similar warning about a Kids2 Bright Starts Rocker model linked to at least one reported infant death. While we applaud the agency for taking this necessary action, rockers that have been associated with infant injury and death remain on the market. Most recently, on November 4, 2023, another family tragically lost their 6-month-old daughter after she was placed on a Fisher-Price rocker,” wrote the Senators

The Senators continued: “These are not the first inclined infant products that have been linked to infant injury and death. In 2021, the House Oversight Committee found that Mattel had failed to research whether its Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper was safe for overnight sleep before bringing the product to market in 2009. Even after being made aware that the product was not safe for overnight sleep, Mattel continued to market the Rock ‘n Play for sleep until CPSC recalled the product in 2019. Further, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which passed in May of 2022, made it illegal to sell, distribute, manufacture or import the Rock n/ Play Sleeper and other included sleep products.” 

“CPSC has the authority to recall products from the market that pose a substantial hazard to consumers’ safety. We urge you to act now and work toward securing a recall of the Infant-to-Toddler and Bright Starts rockers from the market. We cannot continue to stand by as unsuspecting parents and innocent babies are put in preventable danger,” the Senators urged

“We also urge the CPSC to further protect infants as it develops the first federal safety standard for infant and infant-to-toddler rockers. On October 26, 2023, CPSC released its proposed Safety Standard for Infant and Infant/Toddler Rockers. Though the proposed rule includes important new safety measures, such as making rockers firmer and flatter, ensuring they pass stability and safety tests, and adding prominent warning labels, more targeted measures, such as adding a minimum age requirement, requirement, prohibiting the inclusion of soothing features such as vibrations or calming sounds, and restricting the degree of incline, are needed to address the potential asphyxia hazards associated with inclined rockers,” wrote the Senators.  

Senator Welch has led efforts in the Senate to strengthen consumer and product safety. In January, Welch introduced the Consumer Advocacy and Protection (CAP) Act, legislation to enhance consumer protection and ensure the Consumer Product Safety Commission can hold companies accountable for consumer safety violations. 

Read the full text of the letter.