CPSC and FDA: Stop Using Sleep Positioners Following Infant Deaths

The announcement from these two federal agencies is quite clear – consumers should stop using infant sleep positioner following the deaths of a dozen infants over 13 years. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued the warning after the positioners caused the babies to become trapped and suffocate between the device and the side of the bassinet or crib.

The positioner is a cloth with two bolsters at either end. It is supposed to keep babies on their back during sleep, considered the safest position to avoid Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS. But the positioners failed to do the job for which they were intended and most of the fatalities occurred when the infants rolled on their stomachs.

In a FDA announcement issued Wednesday, September 29, the agency seems to be distancing itself from the devices reminding parents that it has never approved any infant positioner as a life-saving device. The statement also says there has been no scientific evidence that has confirmed the claims by manufacturers that sleep positioners improve conditions ranging from gastric upset to flat head syndrome in infants.

The Florida product liability attorneys at Farah & Farah want to remind parents to immediately stop using any type of sleep positioner in a child’s crib or bassinet. Additionally, do not put any pillow or comforter in the crib with the baby to keep him or her in place.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants be put to sleep on their backs, even during a nap, and the group does not endorse the use of any sleep positioner.