At Kherkher Garcia, LLP, our children’s product liability lawyer is keenly aware of the suffocation risk of using products like swings, inclined sleepers, and bedding products. Our lawyers have worked with numerous clients, helping them understand their rights and how to get justice for their children.
Hammock Swing Recall Information
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the CaTeam Canvas Hammock Swings subject to this recall are banned under the Safe Sleep for Babies Act (see more below). These swings have an incline of greater than 10 degrees, which puts pressure on infants’ necks, and allows them to roll over and potentially suffocate on the material.
Parents who have a hammock swing should look for “CaTeam” printed on the label. The colors included in the recall are ivory, taupe gray, gray, dark gray, blue, ochre, green and pink. Parents who believe they have one of these swings can visit the CaTeam website for more information.
Hammock Swings Pose Suffocation Risk
Suffocation risk among infants is an ongoing serious concern for safety officials, healthcare providers, and product liability lawyers. In recent years, numerous products have been recalled due to their unsafe design and manufacturing, which has resulted in numerous infant deaths. With these products, suffocation is the primary concern, but it is not the only concern.
Hammock Swings are not generally considered safe for infants and young children due to a number of potential hazards, including:
- Suffocation Risk: Canvas hammocks may create an environment where a baby’s head can become trapped, leading to suffocation. Infants lack the motor skills to reposition themselves if they find themselves in a dangerous position.
- Fall Risk: Improperly secured or installed hammock swings can lead to falls, which can cause serious injuries to babies.
- SIDS Risk: Some studies suggest that inclined sleeping surfaces, such as those found in baby hammock swings, may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Incorrect Positioning: Hammock swings may not provide adequate support for a baby’s developing spine, potentially leading to improper positioning and discomfort.
- Lack of Safety Standards: Unlike cribs and other baby sleep products, baby hammock swings might not be subject to the same rigorous safety standards and regulations.
- Wear and Tear: Over time, the fabric or straps of the hammock could wear out or tear, leading to potential accidents if not regularly inspected and maintained.
It is important for parents and caregivers to prioritize the safety of infants and young children, especially during sleep and play. For a safe sleeping environment, it is recommended to follow established guidelines.
What is the Safe Sleep for Babies Act?
Lawmakers are also weighing in on the suffocation risk when using infant sleepers and swings. The Safe Sleep for Babies Act is a bipartisan bill that was signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022. The law aims to reduce the number of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDS) by promoting safe sleep practices for babies.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act requires the following:
- All hospitals and birthing centers to provide new parents with information on safe sleep practices.
- All child care providers to receive training on safe sleep practices.
- The CPSC to develop and disseminate educational materials on safe sleep practices.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide funding for research on safe sleep practices.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act is a critical step in preventing SUIDS, which are the leading cause of death for infants under the age of one. According to the CPSC, more than 3,500 infants die from SUIDS each year in the United States.
The law is named after three babies who died from SUIDS: Camden, Brooklyn, and Kaiden.
- Camden was born prematurely and had difficulty breathing, so he was placed in a special bassinet that was supposed to help him sleep safely. However, he rolled over and suffocated.
- Brooklyn was placed on her stomach to sleep, which is a dangerous practice that increases the risk of SUIDS.
- Kaiden was sleeping in a crib with a soft blanket, which also increased his risk of death.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act is a reminder that every baby deserves to sleep safely. By following the safe sleep guidelines above, parents can help protect their babies from SUIDS. If you have any questions about safe sleep practices, please talk to your doctor or a healthcare professional.
If you have questions about a children’s product recall, or your infant has been harmed by a dangerous or defective product, please contact a skilled lawyer to discuss your rights.
Safe Sleep Guidelines for Infants
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and other health organizations recommend the following guidelines for a safe infant sleeping environment:
- Back to Sleep: Always place your baby on their back to sleep for naps and at night. This position reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Firm Sleep Surface: Use a firm and flat mattress in a safety-approved crib, bassinet, or play yard for your baby’s sleep. Avoid placing the baby on soft surfaces like adult beds, couches, or waterbeds.
- Separate Sleep Area: Ensure that your baby’s sleep area is separate from caregivers’ beds. Room-sharing is recommended for the first six to twelve months but use a separate crib or bassinet.
- No Soft Bedding or Objects: Keep the sleep area free from soft bedding, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and other objects. These items can pose suffocation hazards.
- No Smoking or Vaping: Keep the baby’s environment smoke-free, as exposure to smoke increases the risk of SIDS.
- Proper Sleepwear: Dress your baby in a wearable blanket or sleep sack to keep them warm without the need for loose blankets.
- Avoid Overheating: Keep the room at a comfortable temperature, and avoid dressing your baby too warmly to prevent overheating.
- Pacifier Use: Consider offering a pacifier at sleep time once breastfeeding is well-established. However, if the baby rejects the pacifier, do not force it.
- Breastfeeding: If possible, try to breastfeed your baby, as breastfed babies may have a reduced risk of SIDS.
- Tummy Time: While supervised, allow your baby to have tummy time while they are awake and alert. This helps with their motor development and reduces the risk of flat spots on their head.
By following these safe sleep guidelines, you can help reduce the risk of sleep-related accidents and SIDS, ensuring a safer sleeping environment for your baby. Always consult with your pediatrician if you have any concerns or questions about safe sleep practices for your infant.
What to do When a Recalled Product Causes an Injury
If you or your child are injured by a recalled product, it is important to act quickly to protect yourself and your legal rights. Here are some recommendations on the steps to take after a product injury:
- Seek medical attention immediately.Even if your injury seems minor, it is important to get it checked out by a doctor. This will help to document your injury and establish that it was caused by the recalled product.
- Contact the manufacturer of the product.The manufacturer will be able to provide you with information about the recall and how to get a replacement or refund.
- Keep all records. Save all of the documentation related to your injury, including medical records, receipts, and photos of the recalled product. This documentation will be important if you decide to file a lawsuit.
- Consider hiring an attorney.An attorney can help you to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product and get the compensation you deserve.
If your child is harmed or worse due to a product with suffocation risk, you need a strong support system to protect your rights and pursue justice for your child. The above steps are just the first in this process. The good news is that you don’t have to go through this alone.
Get a Children’s Product Liability Consultation
When product manufacturers allow unsafe products to harm consumers, they must be held responsible. At Kherkher Garcia, we have more than three decades of experience fighting for consumer rights. Our lawyers know how to craft a fierce legal strategy to help your family get the justice and compensation that you deserve.
To find out how we can help your family, contact us for a free consultation. You can reach our team by calling 713-333-1030, by filling out our contact form, or by chatting with our staff via our website. Don’t wait to get the help you need.