On September 29, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers to stop using infant sleep positioners. In recent years, the government received 12 reports of infants (ages ranging from 1 month to 4 four months) who died when they suffocated in sleep positioners, or became trapped and suffocated between a sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet. According to reports, most of the babies suffocated after rolling from a side to stomach position. In addition to the reported deaths, dozens of reports were received regarding infants who were placed on their backs or sides in sleep positioners, later to be found in potentially hazardous positions within or next to the products.
The two main types of infant sleep positioners are flat mats with side bolsters or inclined (wedge) mats with side bolsters. The FDA has never cleared an infant sleep positioner to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS. In addition, at the time of the recall, the government are unaware of any scientific studies demonstrating that infant positioners prevent SIDS or are proven to prevent suffocation or other life-threatening harm.
CPSC and the FDA warned parents and child care providers to:
- STOP using sleep positioners. Using a positioner to hold an infant on his or her back or side for sleep is dangerous and unnecessary.
- NEVER put pillows, infant sleep positioners, comforters, or quilts under a baby or in a crib.
- ALWAYS place an infant on his or her back at night and during nap time. To reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing infants to sleep on their backs and not their sides.
The American Academy of Pediatrics also does not support the use of any sleep positioner to prevent SIDS.