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Parents Should Stop Using Baby Sleep Positioners

September 30, 2010

U.S. safety officials said Wednesday that parents should stop using infant sleep positioners because they can be deadly.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned parents and child care providers to stop using the pillows, which claim to keep sleeping babies from rolling onto their stomachs. 

The groups say that they have received a dozen reports of infants between the ages of one and four months who died using the devices.

The CPSC received dozens of reports of infants who were placed on their backs or sides in sleep positioners that were later found to be in hazardous positions next to them.

The two agencies said that the deaths and incidents that involve sleep positioners happened over a period of 13 years.

“We urge parents and caregivers to take our warning seriously and stop using these sleep positioners, so that children can have a safer sleep,” CPSC chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum told AFP News.

The two main types of sleep positioners are flat mats with side bolsters or wedge mats with side bolsters.  The devices are said to help avoid SIDS, which has been linked to stomach sleeping.

The FDA said Wednesday that there is no evidence that the devices prevent SIDS and urged parents, health care professionals, and childcare providers to stop using the products.

The FDA also ordered manufactures of the positioners that have not had their product reviewed by it to stop marketing those products.  It also asked manufacturers whose sleep positioners the FDA has cleared to submit clinical data that shows their products’ benefits outweigh its risks.

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