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Parents urged to stop using infant loungers after reports of two infant deaths

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, two babies were placed on a Podster...
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, two babies were placed on a Podster and suffocated when their noses and mouths were covered by the lounger or another object.(CPSC)
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:22 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 10:23 AM EST
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(Gray News) - Authorities are warning consumers to stop using some infant loungers manufactured by Leachco, Inc., after reports of two infant deaths.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, two babies were placed on a Podster and suffocated when their noses and mouths were covered by the lounger or another object.

The infants, 17 days old and 4 months old, died in January 2018 and December 2015, CPSC reported.

The agency continues to emphasize the best place for a baby to sleep is on their backs on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard.

The consumer warning to stop using the Podster, Podster Plush and Podster Playtime comes several months after a different brand of infant loungers was recalled.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it intends to promptly consider other actions, including a potential filing of an administrative complaint, to protect consumers from this hazard.

Consumers are encouraged to report incidents from Podsters or other similar products to saferproducts.gov.

Leachco issued the following statement, rejecting the CPSC’s claims:

The Podster® is not a sleep product. Even though infants can fall asleep anywhere, safe sleep guidelines and CPSC regulations draw a clear line between products intended for sleep and products not intended for sleep. Leachco has always had clear warnings on the product and its packaging not to place it in a bed or crib or use it for unsupervised sleep. The CPSC is wrongly telling consumers to stop using the Podster® altogether instead of explaining that no lounger should be used in a crib or bed and no lounger is safe for unsupervised sleep. The loss of an infant is truly tragic and families who suffered that loss have our deepest sympathies. Unfortunately, the statistics show that infant deaths can occur anywhere, even in cribs where sleep is the safest. Leachco supports the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep guidelines and urges families to use the Podster® as intended for supervised daytime activity only—not for sleep.

Leachco believes that banning products like the Podster® will not improve safety. In fact, it will leave families and caregivers with fewer safe ways to care for awake infants. Infant care requires constant attention. It can be an exhausting job and parents and caregivers need products to help them. For as many hours of the day that infants need care, it simply is not reasonable to expect parents and caregivers to put them in a crib.

The CPSC’s claims are wrong. The agency ignores the important role loungers can have for parents and makes the wrong choice for families. Leachco stands by the Podster®'s quality, safety and value.

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