The Boppy Company is recalling 3.3 million newborn loungers after the product was linked to eight infant suffocation deaths, the company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Thursday.
The recall applies to all models of the Boppy Original Newborn Lounger, the Boppy Preferred Newborn Lounger, and the Pottery Barn Kids Boppy Newborn Lounger.
"The infants reportedly suffocated after being placed on their back, side or stomach on the lounger and were found on their side or on their stomach," the CPSC said. The deaths occurred between December 2015 and June 2020.
The popular product — which the company once marketed as "the only baby support pillow uniquely designed with a recessed interior perfect for your baby's bottom" — was sold in stores and online in the United States and Canada from January 2004 until Wednesday, according to a cached version of Boppy's website.
People who own the loungers are advised to immediately stop using them and contact Boppy for a refund.
"These types of incidents are heartbreaking,” CPSC acting Chair Robert S. Adler said in the recall announcement. “Loungers and pillow-like products are not safe for infant sleep, due to the risk of suffocation. Since we know that infants sleep so much of the time — even in products not intended for sleep — and since suffocation can happen so quickly, these Boppy lounger products are simply too risky to remain on the market.”
In a statement, a Boppy spokesperson said that the company is "devastated" by the infant deaths and that the lounger "was not marketed as an infant sleep product and includes warnings against unsupervised use.”
"Boppy is committed to doing everything possible to safeguard babies, including communicating the safe use of our products to parents and caregivers, and educating the public about the importance of following all warnings and instructions and the risks associated with unsafe sleep practices for infants." One of the steps the company is taking toward this goal is "The Boppy Pledge" to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers of leaving infants unsupervised while using their products.
The government's recall announcement ended with a reminder to parents about infant sleep safety.
"CPSC continues to emphasize that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet, or play yard. Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows, padded crib bumpers, or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs."