First Candle issued this today:
[Baltimore, MD – September 30, 2010] First Candle joins the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in warning consumers to stop using infant sleep positioners. Infant sleep positioners are devices intended to keep a baby in a desired position while sleeping. Infant sleep positioners can be purchased over-the-counter at retail stores or on websites. They are marketed for use in homes and medical facilities.
In the last 13 years, the federal government has received 12 reports of babies known to have died from suffocation associated with their sleep positioners. Experts warn this figure is likely a minimum, as it is not uncommon for these types of deaths to go unreported. Most of the babies suffocated after rolling from the side to the stomach.
Consumers can be misled by marketing that makes claims such as ‘can reduce the risk of SIDS’ or ‘as recommended by’ First Candle/SIDS Alliance or the AAP. “The reality is that these products have not been tested for their effectiveness at keeping babies on their back or safety for use with newborns and young babies,” says Dr. Rachel Moon, Chair of the SIDS Task Force of the AAP. “Parents should never use wedges or positioners to prop babies up or keep them on their back.”
According to Laura Reno, Director of Marketing and Communications for First Candle, parents need to understand that learning to roll from back to tummy and tummy to back is an important part of normal infant development. “Newborns are not yet strong enough to be moving around during sleep so positioners are not necessary. Once your baby does start moving around during sleep the positioners can become a suffocation hazard.” First Candle recommends putting babies to sleep on their back right from birth and never using positioners or similar products to position or restrain babies, especially once they start moving around during sleep.
First Candle reminds parents and caregivers of the following lifesaving safe sleep practices to help protect babies from SIDS, suffocation and accidents during sleep:
The safest place for babies to sleep is in a crib or play yard that meets current safety standards. The mattress should be firm, fit snugly and be covered with only a tight-fitting crib sheet.
For at least the first six months, place this separate, safe sleep space in the room near where you sleep.
Use a wearable blanket or layer sleep clothing to keep babies warm without the use of loose blankets.
Do not add any soft bedding or other items to the sleep space, this includes blankets, quilts, soft or pillow-like bumpers, pillows, stuffed animals or any other soft bedding or other products.
Never use positioners or wedges to prop babies up or keep them on their back.
Bed sharing is dangerous! Breastfeed and bond with your baby in bed, but when it’s time to go to sleep place your baby in his own separate space alongside your bed.
Always place babies on their back to sleep; side and stomach sleep positions are not safe.