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Infant Loungers Associated with Two Suffocation Deaths, CPSC Says

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is suing Leachco, the manufacturer of various infant lounge products after the company refused to voluntarily recall its Podster, Podster Playtime, Podster Plush, and Bummzie infant loungers. The CPSC reports that there have been infant deaths related to the use of these products, which were found by the Commission to pose a suffocation hazard to babies using them. 

According to Alex Hoehn-Saric, CPSC Chair, “Infants are the most vulnerable members of our society. The Commission will not turn a blind eye to products that put them at unnecessary risk and can lead to parents’ worst nightmare. Filing complaints like this one is the last resort when a manufacturer fails to respond to the type of safety concerns raised in this case, yet in the interest of protecting consumers we were left with no other options.” 

In January, the CPSC found that these infant loungers can cause an obstruction in the infant’s airflow if the infant moves or rolls or is positioned where its mouth or nose may be obstructed. Although the products come with various warnings, the CPSC says that it is “foreseeable” that parents and others might put their infants in the lounger without supervising them. 

Heartbreaking Infant Suffocation

The investigation into the Podsters products began after reports of two infants, both of whom were placed on the loungers and eventually suffocated after a change in position caused their noses and mouths to be obstructed. One infant died in 2015 and the other in 2018. The babies were 17 days old and 4 months old. 

Around 180,000 Podsters have been sold in the U.S. The products in question have a circumference between 71 and 75 inches and measure approximately 21.5 inches by 23.75 inches by 8 inches. Each has a removable cover and padded insert. Covers are made from polyester or a poly/cotton blend. Consumers with this product should be advised of the CPSC findings and take precautions. 

The CPSC, through its complaint against Leachco, asks that the company reach out to each consumer who purchased a lounger and warn them of the defect. The CPSC also asks the company to offer consumers a refund in full. 

If you have a Podster or similar product and have experienced a problem with it, you are encouraged to reach out to our Los Angeles defective product attorney at JML Law, A Professional Law Corporation. You should also report the incident to SaferProducts.gov. 

The CPSC reminds parents and caregivers that infant loungers are not suitable for sleeping babies and that babies should always be positioned on their backs for sleeping. Further, the Commission goes on to note that infants that fall asleep in an upright or inclined position must be moved to a safer sleeping environment. The Commission cautions that cribs should be used with just a fitted sheet; parents should not add blankets, crib bumpers, pillows, or anything else to the crib or bassinet. 

Injured by a Defective Product?

Our attorneys are ready to hold manufacturers and others accountable for injuries that occur when defective products make their way into the hands of consumers. Reach out right away to our Los Angeles defective product attorney at JML Law, A Professional Law Corporation right away if a product causes you or someone you love harm. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case or call us at 818-610-8800.

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