Federal safety officials are warning parents and caregivers about the importance of ensuring that babies are always restrained when placed in infant incline sleepers, due to the potential roll over and suffocation risks.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a inclining infant sleeper warning on May 31, indicating that the agency has received multiple fatality reports involving babies who rolled over and suffocated because they were not properly restrained.
Inclining infant sleepers are similar to bassinets, however they are designed to elevate the baby’s head and torso. Inclining the infant during sleep has been shown to help prevent acid-reflux or congestion.
The products are sold in frame-type, semi-grid and compact styles for infants to be placed in on their backs to keep the baby’s face up. The products are equipped with restraints that allow parents to snugly fit the straps around the child to prevent them from turning over.
The CPSC is alerting parents and caregivers to always use the restraints supplied with inclining bassinet-like products, warning about the potential risks associated with the products and reports of injuries and deaths received.
The inclining sleepers are meant to be used for newborns and infants that are not able to roll over on their own. Although the child may not be able to roll over on their own, parents will not know the exact moment a child gains that ability, which is why the restraints are highly recommended and the best way to prevent suffocation hazards.
CPSC officials highly recommend that consumers always provide safe sleep environments for children and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using inclining infant sleepers.
The first month of an infant’s life the child will sleep an excessive amount, and although it can be a struggle, officials warn that parents always follow the following steps:
- Bare is Best: Do not add blankets, pillows, or other items to the sleep environment
- Back to Sleep: Always place infants to sleep on their backs
- Check to see whether the crib, bassinet, play yard or inclined sleeper has been recalled at cpsc.gov
According to the FDA, about 4,000 infants annually die unexpectedly during sleep from accidental suffocation, SIDS, or unknown causes. Many of the reported fatalities are a result of suffocation from rolling on their sides or stomach.
To reduce suffocation and accidental deaths, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that infants sleep on their backs positioned on a firm, empty surface, not containing any soft objects toys, pillows or loose bedding. The recommendation for new parents is to always follow the ABCs of safe sleep: Alone on the Back in a bare Crib.