The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is launching an investigation into infant deaths and nursing pillows / lounging pads, as well as issuing a warning to parents that these products are not safe for sleeping.
According to the CPSC’s October news release, they have identified several deaths associated with pillow-like infant products, such as nursing pillows and lounging pads, and are analyzing incident data to determine the risks more clearly. The CPSC is investigating the entire class of infant pillow products, and does not name any specific brand. However, Consumer Reports names Boppy, Blessed Nest, Ergobaby, Leachco, Luna Lullaby, and Zenoff Products (maker of My Brest Friend) as a few examples.
The Commission’s initial analysis of pillows and lounging pads found infants are at an increased risk of injury when left near or on one of these products and they roll off, roll over or fall asleep. This can cause them to suffocate in their sleep – also called “positional asphyxia” – which the CPSC estimates kills nearly 1,000 infants each year. According to Consumer Reports, between 2012 and 2018, at least 28 infants died due to nursing pillows and defective baby sleepers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, each year in the United States, about 3,500 babies suffer sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs). This is when an infant younger than one year dies with no obvious immediate cause. In 2018, about 800 of these deaths involved accidental suffocations and strangulations in bed.
Safe sleep recommendations
The CPSC is also taking this opportunity to remind parents and caregivers the best ways to create safe sleep environments for their infants.
- Do not allow babies to sleep on nursing pillows or any pillow-like product.
- Do not use infant sleep products with an inclined seat of more than 10 degrees. Also refrain from using car seats, bouncers or other inclined products for sleep.
- Follow safe sleep advice. Remember, “Bare is Best” – no blankets, pillows, padded bumpers or soft toys in the sleep environment – and “Back to Sleep,” as infants should always be placed to sleep on their backs on a flat and firm surface.
The Commission also stresses that if you experience a safety issue with a pillow-like product, you should report it immediately, as it could help save a child’s life. Check the CPSC website regularly to see if your nursery products have been recalled, and promptly follow the recall instructions to receive a refund, replacement, or repair.
Product manufacturers, especially those who design products for children, have a duty to the public to ensure their products are safe. If not, they can open themselves up to liability if someone is harmed from the use of a product like a soft pillow.
The product liability attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP launch a full investigation if your child is injured or killed by a defective toy or product. We can help. To talk to one of our injury attorneys, get in touch with us today. To schedule your free case evaluation, call our Atlanta office at 404-998-8847, our Savannah office at 912-417-3774, or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact page.
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