The Consumer Product Safety Commission and the FDA just posted a warning encouranging parents and caregivers to stop using infant sleep positioners. The two main types of infant sleep positioners are flat mats with side bolsters or inclined (wedge) mats with side bolsters. For years, sleep positioners have been touted as a SIDS risk reduction tool but this has never proven to be the case. In fact, over the past 13 years, CPSC and the FDA have received 12 reports of infants between the ages of 1 month and 4 four months who died when they suffocated in sleep positioners or became trapped and suffocated between a sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet.
Sleep positioners also typically claim to do one or all of the following: aid in food digestion to ease colic or the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); and prevent flat head syndrome (plagiocephaly). In light of the new safety data, FDA believes any benefit from using these devices to ease GERD or prevent plagiocephaly is outweighed by the risk of suffocation.
If you have had a problem with an infant sleep positioner, the agencies encourage you to file a report through FDA’s MedWatch program, at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/HowToReport/default.htm
CPSC is interested in receiving incident or injury reports related to these products. Please visit https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx to file a report.
Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area. Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.