The nation’s top consumer watchdogs are jointly urging parents to stop using infant sleep positioners immediately. The sleep positioners can suffocate an infant who rolls out of position while lying on one. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say the positioners have caused at least 12 deaths in the past 13 years.
Sleep Positioners Don’t Prevent SIDS
The terrible irony of this is that parents thought sleep positioners were protecting their children from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Although what causes SIDS remains unknown, sleep position is thought to play a factor. Pediatricians and experts who’ve studied SIDS agree that babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to die of SIDS than those who do not.
So sleep positioners were supposed to keep infants in the correct sleeping position. Apparently they fail to do so, and in fact pose a separate suffocation risk if the infant rolls face down in the positioner, or becomes trapped between the positioner and the side of the crib or bassinet. Beyond the risk, the FDA points out that the claim that sleep positioners reduce the risk of SIDS is totally unsubstantiated.
Evaluating the safety of consumer products is a massive challenge borne by the CPSC. Sizing up the efficacy and safety of products claiming health benefits falls to the FDA. You can add to the mix the Federal Trade Commission, which is responsible for policing false or misleading advertising. The fact that these three agencies are on the job and working hard does not, unfortunately, guarantee us a safe, rip-off free world to live in.
As with any advisory or recall, you should stop using the product immediately. Discard the product or return it to place of purchase for a refund. Do not attempt to resell the product. That’s illegal. If you’ve been injured by any product, recalled or not, contact the CPSC or FDA as appropriate, and contact a good personal injury attorney.
By: Arthur Buono
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