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CPSC, FDA Warning on Infant Sleep Positioners

9/29/2010 By: Judith S. Palfrey, MD, FAAP, president, American Academy of Pediatrics

"The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) shares the concern of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the safety of sleep positioners, and urges parents not to use these products. Infant sleep positioners are flat mats with side bolsters or inclined (wedge) mats with side bolsters.

“First and foremost—always place your baby on his or her back to sleep. When babies sleep on their backs, their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, drops by more than 50 percent.

“Sleep positioners do not prevent SIDS and in fact can increase the risk of babies suffocating. These deaths are tragic and avoidable.

“The AAP believes sleep positioners represent a risk to sleeping babies. The AAP also recommends that parents never use pillows, stuffed animals, heavy blankets or other soft or puffy items in babies' cribs. Soft bedding can end up over their face and block their breathing. Babies should have their own crib, with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet.”

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.