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Baby Sleep Positioners Linked to 12 Deaths

November 27, 2012 — The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning that infant sleep positioners are “dangerous and unnecessary” and caregivers should stop using them immediately.

In the last 13 years, 12 infants have suffocated when their mouths and/or noses became trapped against the sides of the devices. The CPSC has published a statement to increase public awareness about the risk.

Infant sleep positioners are used to keep an infant on his or her back while sleeping. The products are typically designed with a foam mat or wedge with foam bolsters on either side. Manufacturers of the devices claim they they can help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), colic, acid reflux, and a flat head shape caused by pressure on the baby’s skull.

Unfortunately, the devices may actually increase an infant’s risk of injury and death. Furthermore, “To date, there is no scientifically sound evidence that infant sleep positioners prevent SIDS,” according to Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, FDA Principal Deputy Commissioner.

The problem with the devices is that infants can scoot up or down or roll onto their stomach. An infant could also move in a way that flips the positioner so that the infant is trapped underneath. This could potentially cause the infant to suffocate.

The FDA has asked manufacturers of infant sleep positioners to stop claiming their devices can prevent SIDS. Furthermore, the FDA warns that the risk of death outweighs any benefit from preventing acid reflux or a flat head shape.

According to a statement from CPSC Chairmen Inez Tenenbaum, “We urge parents and caregivers to take our warning seriously and stop using these sleep positioners, so that children can have a safer sleep.”

The CPSC is also reminding parents and caregivers about the importance of placing a child on his or her back while sleeping to prevent SIDS. The agencies launched a “Back to Sleep” campaign in the 1990s. In the warning against infant sleep positioners, the CPSC made the following recommendations:

  • Sleep positioners should not be used because they are “dangerous and unnecessary.”
  • Caregivers should never place pillows, sleep positioners, comforters, or quilts inside a crib due to the risk of suffocation.
  • Babies should always be placed on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of SIDS.

Do I have a Baby Sleep Positioner Lawsuit?

The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting baby sleep positioner induced injury cases in all 50 states. If your child or somebody you know was injured by a sleep positioner, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Product Liability Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.

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