Parents reminded to toss out padded crib bumpers, incline sleepers
Babies should sleep alone on their back in a solid, flat crib with no extraneous materials such as blankets, pillows or toys, Dr. Kyran Quinlan advises.
Experts are reminding parents against using padded crib bumpers and incline sleepers as a federal law kicks in Saturday that bars the manufacturing and sale of the products.
Infants should sleep alone on their back in a solid, flat crib with no extraneous materials such as blankets, pillows or toys, according to Dr. Kyran Quinlan, a pediatrician from Rush University Medical Center. The crib should be in the same room as a parent.
Crib bumpers, blankets and toys put infants at risk of choking or suffocating, according to U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., who backed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act. The law, which takes effect Saturday, does not prohibit unpadded crib bumpers or mesh crib liners.
“This is not safe for our children,” Schakowsky said. “We know there has been research that was done that found that many children have actually died because of those products. So with the help of the advocacy, with the help of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, we’re going to get those off the shelves but we still have work to do to make sure we communicate this to all families.”
Quinlan said the number of infant sleep deaths in 2021 was the same as it was 20 years ago.
In Cook County, an infant dies once a week from sudden and unexpected death, Quinlan said.
Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said 58% of Chicago infants are unsafe when they sleep, and African American infants are 12 times more likely to die suddenly and unexpectedly than white infants in Cook County. Hoehn-Saric said nationally, Black infants are twice as likely to die as white infants.
Since crib bumpers and inclined sleepers have been commonly used by parents for a long time, advocates are asking parents to stop using the products and throw them away.
The commission has recalled at least 26 products since implementing new standards for infant sleep products in June, Hoehn-Saric said.
Hoehn-Saric encouraged parents who have had a problem with products to report them on the CPSC website.
“You could be saving some other child’s life,” Hoehn-Saric said.