Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents and caregivers about the dangers of popular inclined sleep products for infants, citing the findings of a new study.
The study is part of a growing body of evidence showing that inclined sleepers with higher angles do not provide a safe sleep environment for infants.
Several inclined sleepers have previously been recalled by the CPSC.
The agency 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 or other items to an infant’s sleeping environment.
Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs.
New Study Confirms: Babies Should Sleep on Firm, Flat Surface
CPSC received reports of 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths, related to infant inclined sleep products that occurred from January 2005 through June 2019.
CPSC hired independent expert Erin Mannen, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer specializing in biomechanics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, to conduct infant testing to evaluate the design of inclined sleep products.
Dr. Mannen’s report was conclusive that products with inclines 10 degrees or less, with flat and rigid surfaces, are likely safe for infant sleep.
Dr. Mannen also found that soft and plush-like sleep surfaces pose dangers to infants.
What Should Parents and Caregivers Do Now?
- Stop using infant sleep products with inclined seat backs of more than 10 degrees. Parents and caregivers should not use infant car seats, bouncers, and other infant inclined products for sleep, and should follow manufacturer instructions.
- Follow safe sleep advice. Bare is Best: Do not add blankets, pillows, or other items to the baby’s sleep environment. Back to Sleep: Always place infants to sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface.
- Check www.cpsc.gov often to see if your nursery products have been recalled, and promptly follow the recall instructions to receive a refund, replacement, or repair. Consumers who register their nursery products with the manufacturer’s registration card (included with nursery items) can be contacted directly by the manufacturer if there is a recall.
Learn How to Put Your Baby to Sleep Safely
If you just had a baby, are expecting, or are taking care of a young infant it’s important to create a safe sleep environment for your baby. Because babies spend much of their time sleeping, the nursery should be the safest room in the house. Take a few moments to learn about safe sleep.
Bare is Best
With any crib, bassinet or play yard, follow a few simple rules to keep babies sleeping safely. Bare is Best!
- To prevent suffocation, never place pillows or thick quilts in a baby’s sleep environment.
- Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
- Proper assembly of cribs is paramount – Follow the instructions provided and make sure that every part is installed correctly. If you are not sure, call the manufacturer for assistance.
- Do not use cribs older than 10 years or broken or modified cribs. Infants can strangle to death if their bodies pass through gaps between loose components or broken slats while their heads remain entrapped.
- Set up play yards properly according to manufacturers’ directions. Only use the mattress pad provided with the play yard; do not add extra padding.
- Never place a crib near a window with blind, curtain cords or baby monitor cords; babies can strangle on cords.
For more information please visit the Safe to Sleep® public education campaign led by The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and in collaboration with other organizations.
About the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually.
CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC’s work to help ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC’s Hotline at 800.638.2772 or teletypewriter at 301.595.7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC’s free e-mail newsletters.