WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning parents and caregivers about the dangers of popular inclined sleep products for infants, citing the findings of a new study. The study is part of a growing body of evidence showing that inclined sleepers with higher angles do not provide a safe sleep environment for infants. Several inclined sleepers have previously been recalled by the CPSC.
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.
New Study Confirms: Babies Should Sleep on Firm, Flat Surface
CPSC received reports of 1,108 incidents, including 73 infant deaths, related to infant inclined sleep products that occurred from January 2005 through June 2019. CPSC hired independent expert Erin Mannen, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer specializing in biomechanics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, to conduct infant testing to evaluate the design of inclined sleep products. 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. Dr. Mannen found that none of the inclined sleep products her team tested is safe for infant sleep. Dr. Mannen’s report was conclusive that products with inclines 10 degrees or less, with flat and rigid surfaces, are likely safe for infant sleep. Dr. Mannen also found that soft and plush-like sleep surfaces pose dangers to infants.
What Should Parents and Caregivers Do Now?
- Stop using infant sleep products with inclined seat backs 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.