Officials Warn Sleep Positioners Pose Suffocation Risk
A product marketed to help keep babies safe while they sleep may have the opposite effect.
At least 13 infants have died since 1997 while lying in sleep positioners or sleep wedges, a new CDC report shows. The products often claim to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Researchers found all but one of the deaths involved infants aged 3 months or less. Most of the infants were placed on their sides to sleep in the sleep positioner, and many were later found lying on their stomachs.
Most of the infants suffocated after rolling onto their stomachs from a side-facing position.
The FDA has never approved any infant sleep positioner to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS.
Officials are urging parents to follow these safety steps:
- Stop using sleep positioners. Using a sleep positioner to hold an infant on his or her back for sleep is dangerous and unnecessary.
- Never put pillows, wedges, comforters, or quilts under an infant in a crib or bassinet.
- Always put an infant to sleep on his or her back at night and at nap time to reduce the risk of SIDS.
A few infant sleep positioners have been cleared by the FDA to treat specific medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux. Officials say these sleep positioners should only be used by prescription.
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SOURCE: WebMD Health News