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Federal agency warns parents not to use inclined infant sleepers, citing 73 deaths

Posted at 8:46 AM, Nov 04, 2019

WASHINGTON – Federal officials are warning parents and caregivers not to use inclined sleep products for infants, citing dozens of baby deaths.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says it has received reports of 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths, related to the sleepers that occurred from January 2005 through June 2019.

Several inclined sleepers have been recalled by the CPSC over the past year, including products from FisherPrice, Kids II and Dorel Juvenile Group.

The CPSC emphasizes 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.

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The CPSC hired 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.

The engineer, Erin Mannen, Ph.D., found that none of the inclined sleep products her team tested is safe for infant sleep. Her 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.

Here’s what the CPSC says parents and caregivers should 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 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.