“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
“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
“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.”
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