FDA and CPSC warn of suffocation risk of using baby sleep positioners


Parenting is a big responsibility and parents want their child to be comfortable.  If you have kid(s); you might have used or heard about baby sleep positioners.  These are used to help the baby maintain one position and generally have foam bolsters on the two sides.  Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning against use of the sleep positioners owing to risk of baby being trapped and suffocated.  Sleep positioners have been around for 13 years and have led to death of around a dozen infants owing to suffocation. 

What is the main reason for using sleep positioners?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has been a concern for American Academy of Pediatrics, which has advised babies to sleep on their back.  Sleep positioners were promoted to reduce the chances of SIDS.  Although Dr. Rachel Moon, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics SIDS Task Force, said that “There is no evidence that they prevent SIDS. 

In 1980s FDA approved sleep positioners for babies with reflux or for babies whose heads flattened.  FDA has approved around 18 products that address this issue.  This is another thing that sleep positioner manufacturers promote to outweigh the risk of suffociation. 

Did FDA recall sleep positioners?
No, at this stage FDA did not recall sleep positioners, but has issued strong warning against use of it.  The thing about this warning is,...

it’s a joint warning issued by FDA and he product safety commission.  Historically, CPSC is known to recall products in piecemeal, meaning it would recall product from one manufacturer in same category, not all at one time.  But, in this case strong warning against “sleep positioners” signals that a recall is coming soon. 

Did manufactures and distributors take any action after the warning?
Distributors like Babies R Us, Toys R Us and Target are planning to stop the sale of sleep positioners online as well in stores.  FDA has heard back from at least five manufacturers, who are planning to withdraw their products. 

Safety of your child should be your highest priority.  These sleep positioners do not cost much, typically $20.00 or so, but as indicated by the warning, can be fatal for your child. 

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