The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a warning against the use of inclined sleep products for infants due to 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths between January 2005 and June 2019. These incidents led to past recalls of specific sleepers.
In a recent study conducted by the CPSC, hired Erin Mannen, PhD, a mechanical engineer specializing in biomechanics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, tested the design of inclined sleep products.
Per the CPSC’s website, “Dr. Mannen measured infants’ muscle movements and oxygen saturation while in various products and positions, such as a flat crib, an inclined crib, and several inclined sleep products.”
The statement included findings from the study, “Dr. Mannen found that none of the inclined sleep products her team tested is safe for infant sleep.”
Going a step further, the statement said, “Dr. Mannen also found that soft and plush-like sleep surfaces pose dangers to infants.”
The CPSC is advising all parents and caregivers to cease the use of inclined sleep products for children.
Mannen’s report did say, “…products with inclines of 10 degrees or less, with flat and rigid surfaces, are likely safe for infant sleep.”
Sleep recommendations per the CPSC’s statement: “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.”
CPSC also warned against using infant car seats or bouncers to put infants to sleep.
In a checklist, the CPSC included the following recommendations:
What Should Parents and Caregivers Do Now?
- Stop using infant sleep products with inclined seatbacks 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.