There’s a new warning for parents this morning. The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Food and Drug Administration is warning parents to stop using infant sleep positioners.
According to the agencies over the past 13 years both have received reports of 12 infants between the ages of 1 month and 4 months who died when they suffocated in sleep positioners or became trapped between the sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet.
This can happen even if you place your baby on their back within the sleep positioner.
“The deaths and dangerous situations resulting from the use of infant sleep positioners are a serious concern to CPSC,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “We urge parents and caregivers to take our warning seriously and stop using these sleep positioners, so that children can have a safer sleep.”
The two main types of infant sleep positioners are flat mats with side bolsters or inclined (wedge) mats with side bolsters.
Sleep positioners also typically claim to do one or all of the following: aid in food digestion to ease colic or the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); and prevent flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly). In light of the new safety data, FDA believes any benefit from using these devices to ease GERD or prevent plagiocephaly is outweighed by the risk of suffocation.
CPSC and the FDA are warning parents and child care providers to:
STOP using sleep positioners. Using a positioner to hold an infant on his or her back or side for sleep is dangerous and unnecessary.
NEVER put pillows, infant sleep positioners, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib.
ALWAYS place an infant on his or her back at night and during nap time. To reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing infants to sleep on their backs and not their sides.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not support the use of any sleep positioner to prevent SIDS.
Back in May I did a story a while back on the proper sleep position for babies. An Austin couple wanted to make more parents aware after losing their own daughter, Payton.
The easiest thing to remember is the ABC’s of safe sleep:
ALWAYS put your child ALONE on their BACK in their CRIB.