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Consumer Reports: New federal guidelines for infant sleep products now in effect

Posted at 7:06 AM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 08:06:14-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — There's a life-saving change coming to some baby products that parents need to know about. It involves products sold for sleeping.

Infant sleepers are just one of the products that are no longer allowed to be sold or marketed for sleep because of a new federal rule that just recently took effect.

Children’s products manufacturers Fisher-Price and Kids2 joined the Consumer Product Safety Commission to warn parents not to use their infant rockers for sleep. The Fisher-Price’s Infant-to-Toddler Rockers and Newborn-to-Toddler Rockers are tied to at least 13 deaths. The Kids2 Bright Starts Rocker is tied to at least one death.

"While companies say these rockers are not intended for sleep, we know that parents and caregivers sometimes use them for that purpose. And the same goes for other infant seats and swings," said Oriene Shin, Consumer Reports safety expert.

Shin said similar to the inclined sleepers that Congress recently banned, it is the reclined positioning of the infant that makes these products so dangerous for any period of sleep.

"Products that position an infant in a reclined sleeping position increase the risk of suffocation, causing an infant's head to tilt forward and compress the airway," Shin said.

That's what the new government regulation is meant to address. All infant sleep products manufactured must now meet minimum safety requirements that align with guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Babies should sleep alone and on a flat surface.

But Consumer Reports says it is OK to let your baby sleep for short stretches in a car seat while you are driving, as long as the seat is used properly.

"Car seat design safely allows for babies to be in a semi-reclined position while providing the protection needed during a crash, when properly installed in the vehicle," said Emily Thomas, Consumer Reports child safety expert.

It’s important to make sure your child is tightly harnessed and fully buckled in their car seat at all times, and that their car seat is installed in the vehicle at the appropriate recline for their age.

If your baby falls asleep while you’re driving, when you get home or where you're going, always move out of the car seat and someplace where they will be safe to sleep. Same thing for rockers, bouncers and swings. If your baby starts to fall asleep, move them to a crib, bassinet, or play yard.