Infant sleep positioners cause death, health officials say

November 21, 2012

Bolsters used to keep sleeping babies on their backs pose a suffocation hazard, health officials warned Wednesday after a recent death raised the 'sleep positioners' toll to at least 13 US infants.

Health officials first warned parents not to use the devices in 2010 and cracked down on manufacturers who claimed they could prevent , which claims more than 2,000 infants a year in the United States.

But the 'sleep positioners'—which typically feature bolsters attached to each side of a thin mat and sometimes a wedge to elevate the baby's head—remain on the market.

Most of the babies—all four months of age or younger—suffocated after rolling from their side to their stomach. Some were found trapped between the bolster and the side of the crib.

In addition to the 13 reported deaths since 1997, the has received dozens of reports of babies found in "hazardous positions within or next to the product" after they were placed on their back or side in the positioners.

"We urge parents and caregivers to take our warning seriously and stop using these sleep positioners so children can be assured of a safe sleep," Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the Consumer , said in a statement.

Parents should also keep the crib free of pillows, comforters, quilts and toys, said Susan Cummins, a pediatric expert at the .

"The safest crib is a bare crib," she said. "Always put your baby on his or her back to sleep. An easy way to remember this is to follow the ABC's of safe sleep—Alone on the Back in a bare Crib."

Explore further: New study reinforces need for continued infant sleep campaigns to prevent SIDS

Related Stories

New study reinforces need for continued infant sleep campaigns to prevent SIDS

October 17, 2011
New research reinforces the need for continued public education programs that encourage parents to place their infants to sleep in the supine (back) position in a safe crib or bassinet, to prevent an estimated 4,600 annual ...

NIH expands safe infant sleep outreach effort

September 13, 2012
The U.S. national campaign to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome has entered a new phase and will now encompass all sleep-related, sudden unexpected infant deaths, officials of the National Institutes of Health ...

Keeping baby safe in his or her first year

September 5, 2011
The first year with a new baby is an exciting, joyful time that means big changes for the whole family. However, it’s also a time when new parents have to think about the safety of their baby, especially in the home ...

Safe sleep environments key to preventing many infant deaths

April 19, 2012
Since 1992, the government's Back-to-Sleep Campaign has encouraged parents to place infants on their backs to sleep. Still, more than 4,500 infants die unexpectedly during sleep each year in the United States. Now, a University ...

Recommended for you

Hormone therapy in the menopause transition did not increase stroke risk

November 24, 2017
Postmenopausal hormone therapy is not associated with increased risk of stroke, provided that it is started early, according to a report from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

When traveling on public transport, you may want to cover your ears

November 22, 2017
The noise levels commuters are exposed to while using public transport or while biking, could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study published in the open access ...

Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses

November 22, 2017
Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses, but spirits are most frequently associated with feelings of aggression, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm

November 22, 2017
Air pollution, particularly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), is associated with poorer quality sperm, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Sunrise and sunset guide daily activities of city-dwellers

November 21, 2017
Despite artificial lightning and social conventions, the dynamics of daylight still influence the daily activities of people living in modern, urban environments, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.