Safety reg­u­la­tors: Avoid in­clined sleep­ers

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - NATION & WORLD - — Todd C. Frankel, The Wash­ing­ton Post

WASH­ING­TON — Con­sumers should stop us­ing all in­clined sleep­ers — even mod­els that have not been re­called — be­cause of the risk of ac­ci­den­tal suf­fo­ca­tion, fed­eral safety reg­u­la­tors said.

The warn­ing from the Con­sumer Prod­uct Safety Com­mis­sion comes af­ter months of con­tro­versy over the pop­u­lar in­fantsleep­ing de­vices, which be­gan in April with the re­call of mil­lions of Fisher-Price’s Rock ’n Plays be­cause of safety con­cerns and cul­mi­nated in the re­lease of a study two weeks ago that found the prod­uct’s de­sign in­her­ently dan­ger­ous.

The CPSC’s new warn­ing ap­plies to any sleep­ing de­vice that al­lows ba­bies to sleep at an an­gle greater than 10 de­grees. Most in­clined sleep­ers stood at about 30 de­grees.

In ad­di­tion to the Rock ’n Play, in­clined sleep­ers made by Kids II and Dorel Ju­ve­nile Group also have been re­called in re­cent months. They were pulled from the mar­ket, and the com­pa­nies are of­fer­ing con­sumers some com­pen­sa­tion.

But the new CPSC warn­ing Fri­day is not a re­call. It is the agency’s re­sponse to a grow­ing body of re­search about the safety of in­clined sleep­ers. The agency said there were fewer than 40 deaths tied to the prod­ucts in April. Now, that num­ber has shot to 73 in­fant deaths.

The CPSC is also push­ing for new fed­eral rules that would es­sen­tially out­law in­clined sleep­ers by lim­it­ing the in­cline to 10 de­grees.

But the rule­mak­ing process is ex­pected to take at least sev­eral months.

The Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pe­di­atrics has said in­clined sleep­ers are un­safe for sev­eral years. The group rec­om­mends that ba­bies sleep on a flat sur­face in a crib or bassinet.

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