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Consumer Alert

Irresponsible to keep using deadly infant seat after recall

If someone told you that a product being used by your infant had killed other babies, would you stop using it? You’d think the answer would be obvious.

With the recent report of another baby’s death in a Nap Nanny infant chair comes a stark reminder of why heeding product recalls is so important.

Nap Nanny was seen as a godsend by some parents who had children who couldn’t sleep in a crib. But after one baby died, the product was recalled in 2010 and retooled. Babies fell off the cushiony seat, and some were found hanging in the safety harness.

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After the first recall, things just got worse. Three more babies died in the seats and dozens more incidents were reported. That led the US Consumer Product Safety Commission to take the unusual steps of first getting retailers to pull the products from their shelves and then suing the manufacturer, Baby Matters LLC, in 2012.

The company went out of business that year, and Nap Nanny is no longer manufactured. But many of the chairs are sold in secondary markets, such as yard sales, and remain in many homes.

Following the report of a sixth death about a week ago, reaction from some parents was downright frightening. Many began commenting on social media about how they will continue to use the product and blamed the parents of the dead babies for not using it properly.

Millions of infant products that do not kill or injure babies are used every day. When six babies die because of one product, which didn’t even sell 200,000 units, it’s clear there’s a problem. Why would any parent willingly put a baby in one of those seats?

Every consumer, especially those with young children,should sign up to get the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recalls.

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Recalls can be a pain, but most are issued for good reason. Being unaware is one thing — not good, mind you — but anyone knowingly putting a child in a product in which six babies died (more than just about any other infant product) is indefensible.


Mitch Lipka lives in Worcester and also writes the Consumer Alert blog on Boston.com. He can be reached at consumernews@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @mitchlipka.