The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers to stop using all inclined sleepers, even models that have not been recalled, because of the risk of accidental suffocation. According to a report in the Washington Post, the warning from the federal agency comes after months of controversy over these popular infant sleeping devices, which began in April when Fisher-Price recalled millions of its Rock’ n Play infant sleepers. A new study released two weeks ago found that the product’s design is inherently dangerous.
Dangerous by Design
The CPSC’s new warning applies to any sleeping device that allows infants to sleep at an angle greater than 10 degrees. Most inclined sleepers stood at about 30 degrees. In addition to the Rock’ n Play, inclined sleepers made by Kids II and Dorel Juvenile Group also have been recalled in recent months. They were pulled from the market and the companies are offering some compensation. The number of child deaths linked to these sleepers is now at 73.
The CPSC is also pushing for new federal rules that would essentially outlaw inclined sleepers by limiting the incline to 10 degrees. The regulation process is expected to take several months, but in the meantime, the agency is advising parents to avoid these dangerous and defectively designed products. The American Academy of Pediatrics has said for several years that inclined sleepers are not safe.
The group recommends that babies sleep on a flat surface in a crib or bassinet. The group also does not recommend that babies be allowed to sleep in bouncers or infant car seats for extended times. Last month, in a new study by the University of Arkansas, researchers found that babies are especially susceptible to suffocation in an inclined sleeper because the products make it easier for infants to roll into an unsafe faced-down position. The study examined how 10 infants moved in the devices and monitored their blood-oxygen levels.
Sleep Safety Tips
If you own one of these inclined sleepers, please stop using them right away – even if they have not been recalled. Here are also a few valuable infant sleep safety tips:
- Use a crib, bassinet or co-sleeper. Car seats, swings, and carriers should not be used as everyday sleep areas.
- Use only a fitted sheet. Avoid blankets, pillows, toys, or crib bumpers.
- Keep infants out of your bed. It could be dangerous.
- Place the baby on his or her back. Because most babies cannot fully lift their heads, this ensures their air passages are not blocked.
If your child has been injured by a dangerous or defective product, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about your legal rights.