A federal safety commission is urging the public to immediately stop using several types of Leachco baby loungers as it investigates reports of two suffocation deaths.

The four affected products are the Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie and Podster Playtime, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement Wednesday.

CPSC is looking into the deaths of two infants — a 17-day-old in January 2018 and a 4-month-old in December 2015 — who each apparently suffocated after their position changed and “their noses and mouths were obstructed by the Podster or another object,” the statement read.

Oklahoma-based Leachco won’t voluntarily recall the product amid the investigation into the Podsters, according to CPSC.

CPSC released this photo showing, from left to right, the Leachco Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie and the Podster Playtime Infant Loungers.
CPSC released this photo showing, from left to right, the Leachco Podster, Podster Plush, Bummzie and the Podster Playtime Infant Loungers.

The consumer agency noted that its warning comes nearly four months after a millions of Boppy infant loungers were recalled after reports of eight baby deaths between 2015 and 2020.

“For decades, CPSC has emphasized that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard,” the agency’s statement said. “Infant loungers like Podsters are not safe for sleep. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their back. Babies who fall asleep in an inclined or upright position should be moved to a safe sleep environment.”

Leachco has rejected the agency’s claims, emphasizing in its own statement that the products aren’t intended for babies to sleep in.

“The Podster® is specifically designed to help with daytime care of awake infants for the countless times each day when parents and caregivers need to free up their hands for the activities of daily life,” Leachco said. “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 company added that CPSC should tell consumers that baby loungers aren’t meant to be used for unsupervised sleep, rather than telling parents and guardians to stop using the products outright.

About 180,000 Podsters have been purchased since the product was first introduced in 2009. The products are authorized to be sold at nationwide retailers including Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s and Buy Buy Baby.

Incidents involving Posters or similar products can be reported at saferproducts.gov.