The model of a baby rocker that was recalled after reported deaths of five infants while using it. Picture: New York Times

New York - The children’s product company Kids II has recalled 700 000 rocking baby sleepers after the deaths of five infants who had used the rocker while unrestrained.

Kids II, which manufactures baby products for brands such as Baby Einstein, Ingenuity, Bright Starts and Disney Baby, is offering consumers a refund for their recalled baby rockers, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement announcing the recall.

Approximately 694 000 Kids II rocking sleepers were sold nationwide in the US at Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us and online from March 2012 to this month, according to the safety agency. The sleepers usually cost $40 to $80 (about R570 to R1 500).

The recall comes weeks after Fisher Price recalled 4.7 million of its Rock ’n Play sleepers after it was reported that at least 10 infants had died of suffocation since 2015 after rolling over from their backs to their stomachs while in the seat. After first issuing a safety warning for the sleeper, Fisher Price eventually recalled the product.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “that infants are put to sleep on their back on a flat, firm surface, and these are on an incline,” said Dr. David Fagan, vice chairperson of pediatrics at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, New York. “We would never recommend any of these products.”

According to Fagan, research from the 1990s proved that putting babies to sleep on their backs on a flat, firm surface caused incidents of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, to drop significantly.

“Every nap and every night,” Fagan said.

The allure of the sleepers or rockers is the promise of rocking babies to sleep, giving parents a free moment. But the idea that babies can be rocked to sleep is more myth than fact.

“The perception that rocking soothes the infant and puts him to sleep has not been proven,” Fagan said. “It is not fact.”

The New York Times