Trying to get a young infant to sleep can be difficult and frustrating. Sleep-deprived parents often go to great lengths to get their little ones to drift off, from driving miles in the car to singing songs and pacing the floor incessantly. So when a product comes out that claims to help get babies to sleep, it can be quite appealing. One such product is the Nap Nanny, which was introduced a few years ago. The Nap Nanny is kind of a recliner for infants, which allows their heads to be slightly elevated while sleeping. The product is designed to be used only on the floor and the infant is buckled in.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is a group that monitors products and complaints to determine if products are unsafe for consumers. In July, 2010, the CPSC announced a voluntary product recall of the Nap Nanny after receiving numerous complaints about the product, including one regarding a child who died while sleeping in the product in crib. The four-month-old had managed to move herself to the edge of the recliner and suffocated between it and the crib bumper. The manufacturer recalled the product and released a new version of it with additional safety features and directions on safe usage of the product.
After the initial recall, the CPSC received reports of additional injuries and deaths to infants using the Nap Nanny. They notified the company about the issues, but the company's founder refused to recall the product. She stated that none of the subsequent injuries or deaths would have occurred if the consumers were using the product properly. Four of the five reported infant deaths occurred while the Nap Nanny was being used in a crib, which the labels on the product specifically say not to do. Several stores voluntarily recalled the infant sleepers and the CPSC has filed a complaint in an attempt to have a mandatory recall put in place. The manufacturer has also filed documents to have the complaint dismissed. In the meantime, Baby Matters, the company that makes and sells the Nap Nanny, has shut down its operations, but continues to stand by its product.
Generally, when a safety issue is linked to a certain product, the manufacturer of the product, in conjunction with the CPSC, issues a voluntary recall and offers refunds, an improved version, or the parts to fix the issue to consumers. In this case, only certain retailers have offered to refund customers' money. Those who did not buy their Nap Nanny through those retailers will have to wait for the outcome of the complaint.
Recalls and other news regarding product safety can be found on the CPSC website. Instructions are given for each individual product on whether the consumer should return the product for a replacement or refund, or if there is a remedy available that will make the product safe to use. If you or someone you know has been injured by an unsafe product, the Kentucky product liability attorneys at Miller & Falkner can assist you.
Maker of Nap Nanny fights agency's recall effort; The Inquirer; Diane Mastrull; January 4, 2013
Stores recall "Nap Nanny" after Feds say it's a no-no; NPR; Scott Hensley; December 27, 2012