Last week, the CPSC issued a warning to parents and caregivers to use restraints with infants in inclined sleep products. Children can move out of a safe position on an incline, so these restraints are an attempt to keep the baby in one position.
However, the CPSC also cautioned that caregivers should stop using inclined sleepers once the baby can roll over. If these products are used after a baby rolls over, there is an increased likelihood of entrapment for the child. Unfortunately, this is not a hard and fast rule as the age at which a baby rolls over can vary greatly.
This CPSC alert concerns KID for several reasons. Sleep products are intended for children to use without direct parental supervision. If a baby rolls over for the first time in their inclined sleeper, there is a high chance of entrapment, and a small chance for a caregiver to see the child and resolve the situation. The alert also mentioned that the CPSC is aware of infant deaths associated with inclined sleep products. However, they did not state that the precautions they advise would have prevented all the deaths. Is there additional action, such as a recall or other compliance action, that would be more protective of children using these products?
KID and other advocates have sent a letter to the CPSC Chair, Ann Marie Buerkle. Safety advocates, including KID and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), agree that inclined sleep products are inherently unsafe: “We are concerned that this announcement puts the onus on parents and caregivers to protect against the hazard posed by inherently unsafe inclined sleep products, the use of which does not align with American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) safe sleep recommendations.”
We believe that CPSC sleep recommendations should match the latest research. The AAP and other experts recommend that children follow the ABC’s of safe sleep. Babies should sleep Alone, flat on their Backs, and in a Crib, play yard, or bassinet that meets current safety standards.
KID and others are working tirelessly to get unsafe products, including inclined sleepers, out of homes. This vague warning to consumers – who may not even be aware the product their child sleeps in is an “infant included sleep product” – is inadequate and puts the burden on caregivers to prevent this known hazard. We urge caregivers to avoid the use of inclined sleep products to keep children out of harm’s way. While cribs, bassinets, and play yards must meet tough mandatory standards, the same is not true of many sleep products on the market today.
Note: Pictured above is the Nap Nanny, an inclined sleep product that was recalled after six deaths. Other inclined sleep products include some accessories for play yards or the Rock n’ Play.