What parents need to know about new ‘Safe Sleep for Babies’ law
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - This is an important alert for parents, grandparents and other caregivers of small children: stop using inclined sleepers and crib bumpers right away!
Though both have long been mainstays on the market, a recent study has found a link between the products and more than 200 infant deaths in the U.S. since 1990.
In response to these findings, last month President Joe Biden signed the “Safe Sleep for Babies Act” into law, which will prohibit the manufacturing and selling of padded crib bumpers and incline sleeps. The new law goes into effect at the end of this year, but experts recommend ceasing use of those products immediately.
11 Call For Action investigator Katie Pelton sat down with Oriene Shin, the policy counsel and product safety expert with Consumer Reports, for a conversation over the new law.
The new law bans inclined sleepers and crib bumper pads -- those are two popular products that have been on the market for years. This is a pretty monumental law.
Shin: “Yes, and it’s a very big deal that President Biden signed this bill into law, especially when considering how unsafe they are for infant sleep and have been linked to more than 200 reported deaths.”
The new law was prompted in part by an investigation from Consumer Reports. Tell us about that.
“In April 2019, Consumer Reports first revealed that dozens of deaths were tied to infant inclined sleep products, including the Fisher Price Rock N’ Play. What came out of that report was that the incline itself was hazardous to babies and put them in a position where they would either roll over or their head would bend down to the point where they would asphyxiate and not be able to breath. So after that, about a week later we saw a recall of the Fisher Price Rock N’ Play and later discovered that it wasn’t just dozens of deaths, but over a hundred infants who had died in incline sleepers.”
Let’s talk about what safe sleep should look like. The American Academy of Pediatrics says infants should sleep alone, on their back, on a firm, flat surface. No extra padding or loose objects, like pillows, blankets or toys in the crib.
“The AAP guidelines for safe infant sleep also say that you should not have any extra padding or loose objects, such as pillows, blankets or toys in their space, which is the reason why we’ve always been very concerned with the crib bumpers and have been concerned about those products for years, as well. This law takes away two products that were confusing parents for years and really putting babies at risk for years. With the removal of the inclined sleepers and the padded crib bumpers, we’re eliminating products that have been connected to infant deaths. So we are very grateful to see this law move forward.”
I know Consumer Reports has spoken with families who lost their children and fought for this legislation. It’s certainly a big win in their eyes.
“Absolutely, the parents I work with have been just tireless advocates, and they’ve really been a main motivator for me over the last two and a half, three years, working on this bill. It’s such a critical thing to see happen and I’ve heard from parents who say this is a relief and that their children are looking down and applauding this change.”
To learn more about the Consumer Report investigation and the new law, click here.
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