CPSC Approves Major New Federal Safety Standard for Infant Sleep Products

Earlier this month the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved a new federal rule that will ensure that products marketed or intended for infant sleep will provide a safe sleep environment for babies under 5 months old.

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn Personal Injury Attorney and HKQ Kids spokesperson Michele Quinn lauded the rule saying, “We must do everything in our power to protect our children from dangerous products.”

Beginning in mid-2022, all infant sleep products must meet a federal safety standard. The new standard will effectively eliminate potentially hazardous products in the marketplace that are currently not in compliance with a CPSC mandatory standard for infant sleep products. That category includes inclined sleepers, travel bassinets, compact bassinets and in-bed sleepers which have been linked to dozens of infant deaths.

Inclined sleep products position infants at an angle between 10 degrees and 30 degrees. This can cause an infant’s head to fall forward, chin to chest, compressing the airway. Without sufficient head control or neck strength, an infant may not be able to lift the head up to breathe.

A number of popular infant sleep products have been recalled over the years. One high-profile recall was that of Fisher Price’s Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. It took place in April 2019, after a Consumer Reports investigation linked the product to at least 32 infant fatalities. The recall affected nearly five million Fisher-Price inclined sleepers. Three months after the recall, a survey revealed that many childcare facilities continued to use these dangerous sleepers.

Like inclined sleepers, some in-bed sleepers feature design elements such as padding and soft surfaces. Airflow can be blocked if a baby’s face comes into contact with the fabric. In addition, the sidewalls may not be high enough to prevent babies from rolling out. Government data reveals fatalities associated with in-bed sleepers such as the DockATot and Snuggle Nest.

Risks posed by bassinets include suffocation and choking hazards, as well as head and limb entrapment.

Best sleeping position?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), babies should be put to bed on their back – alone, unrestrained and on a firm, flat surface without bumpers and other soft bedding. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau concur.

If your child was seriously injured as the result of a defective product, call Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn’s Personal Injury Team at (800) 760-1529 to speak with an experienced attorney.

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