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Bed sleepers linked to infant deaths

Bed sleeper12 children died in the US after parents used a bed sleeper. Bed sleepers seem to be a convenient solution for parents who want to be close to their babies at night and especially for mothers during nighttime breastfeeding. However a recent article from Consumer Reports indicates that because there are no federal safety standards regulations for this category of products, they might not be safe. Some of them do feature dangerous features for young babies such as padding and soft surfaces that can lead to suffocation if the baby’s face comes in contact with them. The 12 deaths recorded between 2012 and 2018 were related to the following models:

  • The Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Infant Sleeper is responsible for the deaths of 3 children.
  • 2 children died while they were sleeping in the The SwaddleMe By Your Side Sleeper
  • 2 others died in the DockATot

Consumer Reports reached out to all 3 brands. Two  of them said their sleepers were not the cause of death of the children and one decline to comment. All 3 products are still on the market.

Contrary to cribs, bassinets, play yards or bedside sleepers, these products because they are new are not yet regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and therefore manufacturers do not have any specific safety standards to comply with.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents put babies to sleep on their back and avoid soft bedding. However, many parents decide not to follow these guidelines. A study recently released in  Pediatrics found that only a third of American parents were using a separate approved sleep surface.  As a result, infant mortality has been on the rise in the US. Statistics show that between 1999 and 2015, unintentional infant mortality from suffocation among infants younger than 1 year increased from 12.4 to 28.3 per 100 000 persons. Many of these deaths  could have been prevented if parents had observed safe sleeping recommendations.

Read more in Consumer Reports

Picture: courtesy of Kyle Van Horn on Flickr