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AAP Statement Commending U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission for Taking Action Against Inclined Sleepers

10/17/2019 By: Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics

“The American Academy of Pediatrics applauds the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for introducing a proposal yesterday that would remove dangerous inclined sleep products from the market. Pediatricians have long understood that there is no such thing as a safe inclined sleeper for babies, and we have been urging CPSC to put this evidence into meaningful action by issuing a new safety standard that does not allow an incline. Yesterday, they did just that. We urge every commissioner to vote in favor of the new standard without delay, so that the agency can clear the marketplace of these deadly products. 

“As parents get ready for a new child, they understandably assume that when a product is sold on a store shelf, it’s been tested for safety. Unfortunately, they’re wrong. And as we learned recently with the recall of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, it’s a mistake that can carry deadly consequences. In fact, as many as 73 infant deaths caused by inclined sleepers have been publicly reported.

 

“Misleading claims of comfort and safety promoted by so many infant sleep product manufacturers have offered new parents false hope in the form of deadly risk. While the Rock ‘n Play has been recalled, many of these and other similar products remain on the market, and even more concerning, in babies’ nurseries and at home and center-based childcare providers across the country. This must change.

 

“We know that the safest environment for a baby to sleep is on his or her back, on a flat, firm surface, free of loose bedding and bumpers. Pediatricians should not be put in the position of retroactively raising alarms about every new unsafe product that enters the market and parents should not be put in the position of being deceived into buying a product that could kill their child.  

 

“To prevent infants from being injured and dying due to unsafe inclined sleep products in the first place, CPSC must approve and immediately implement this new safety standard. Baby product manufacturers must also stop misleading parents by marketing and selling products known to be dangerous, during one of the most important and vulnerable periods in children’s lives. And lastly, we need to clear the marketplace entirely of these products. That means robust, well-communicated, accountable recalls.

 

While these actions will not bring back the babies whose lives were lost using dangerous inclined sleepers, it will prevent more families from experiencing similar tragedy. This new standard will save lives, and we urge CPSC to approve and implement it right away.”


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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 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 aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds.


*This press statement has been updated to change the number of infant deaths caused by inclined sleepers from 50 to 73