The Food and Drug Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission warn parents to stop using infant sleep positioners. The soft fabric devices claim to help babies safely sleep on their back, yet at least 12 children have rolled over and suffocated or became trapped between the positioner and the side of the crib. The federal agencies have received dozens of additional reports of children who were placed on a sleep positioner and were later found lying in potentially dangerous positions.
18 models of sleep positioners are FDA approved to prevent acid reflux symptoms or flat head syndrome. The products were marketed – and used by parents – to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, a use the FDA has never approved.
None of the products have been recalled, but an FDA spokesperson told the Associated Press to expect recalls in the future. The FDA has asked all sleep positioner manufacturers to stop selling the products and provide them with evidence that the benefits of the item outweigh the risks.
SIDS is the leading cause of death for children ages 1 month to 1-year-old. Parents can minimize SIDS risk by placing a baby to sleep on their back on a firm mattress or safety-approved crib. Keep any pillows, toys or soft items away from the sleep area and keep blankets away from a baby’s mouth and nose. Don’t let infants get too warm; the sleep environment should be around room temperature with not too many layers of clothing or blankets.
Photo courtesy the FDA