Infant sleep positioners, which manufacturers claim can help
prevent sudden infant death, are themselves deadly, according to a
harsh warning released Wednesday by federal regulators.
Over the past 13 years, 12 infants have died after suffocating
in sleep positioners, according to the Consumer Product Safety
Commission and the FDA, two federal agencies overseeing the safety
of in-home products.
Most of the infants suffocated after rolling from a side to
Sleep positioners often make wide-ranging safety claims,
including that they reduce the risk of SIDS by helping to keep
infants on their backs; aid in food digestion; ease colic; and
prevent flat head syndrome. But the FDA has never validated
any of these claims, and Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the agency's
principal deputy commissioner and a pediatrician, says parents
shouldn't take them at face value.
"To date, there is no scientifically sound evidence that infant
sleep positioners prevent SIDS," Sharfstein says. "We want to make
sure parents, health care professionals, and childcare providers
understand the potential risk of suffocation and stop using infant
American Academy of Pediatrics tips for healthy sleep:
For more information, or to report a problem with an infant
sleep positioner, visit the FDA's safety website.
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