Consumer Product Safety Commission Warning: Stop Using Infant Inclined Sleep Products
Earlier this month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning to consumers to immediately stop using any inclined infant sleepers. These products have been connected to 73 infant deaths – in April there were less than 40 deaths linked to these products.
This warning comes months after the April recall of Fisher-Price’s Rock ‘n Play infant sleeper. Since then, inclined sleepers made by Kids II and Dorel Juvenile Group have also been pulled from the market. There was also a study released several weeks ago revealing the design of infant sleepers is inherently dangerous.
The CPSC’s safety warning applies to sleeping devices that allow babies to sleep at any angle greater than 10 degrees – this applies to most infant sleepers because these products usually have an angle of about 30 degrees.
The CPSC is advocating for federal rules to basically outlaw inclined sleepers that have an angle of more than 10 degrees. However, the process of setting new rules about this could take several months, so that is why the CPSC is telling parents to stop using inclined sleepers immediately.
CPSC Study on Inclined Sleep Products
The CPSC commissioned an independent study evaluating and testing inclined sleepers for infants.
Researchers watched 10 infants between the ages of two and six months while in inclined sleepers. Researchers noted the infants’ oxygen levels and movements and compared it to movements and oxygen levels of infants put on a flat mattress and those resting mattresses with varying degrees of inclines.
This research revealed babies on inclined sleepers were able to rollover more easily in inclined sleepers. When babies in these sleepers rolled over, oxygen levels dropped twice as much compared to babies who rolled over onto their stomachs on flat crib mattresses.
Infants in inclined sleepers also exhibited 250 percent more activity in their abdominal muscles than those on flat crib mattresses. The implication from this is babies could become exhausted while struggling to move onto their backs so they could breathe. This could result in suffocation.
The findings from this study are backed up by incident reports from parents whose babies were found dead in inclined sleepers. The reports say the babies had never rolled over in their sleep until they suffocated in an inclined sleeper.
“The study makes it clearer than ever that inclined sleepers place infants at a substantial risk of injury or death,” says William Wallace, the manager of home and safety policy for Consumer Reports.
The research also backs up what the American Academy of Pediatrics has stated about inclined sleepers: None of these products are safe because they typically position infants at an incline of up to 30 degrees. This organization says infants should sleep on their backs, alone, on a firm, flat surface. There should also not be any padding, bumpers or soft bedding.
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