Despite Lucrative Industry, Baby Sleep Products Pose Serious Dangers

Baby Sleep Product DangersThe baby sleep aid industry reels in more than $300 million per year. New parents rely on the promises made by sleep aid manufacturers so that they can get a good night’s sleep. Going back to work after having a newborn is tiring – the baby likely won’t sleep through the night until he or she is a couple of months old, so every precious minute asleep is a win.

Despite the promises made and the number of baby sleep products on the market, baby sleep aids pose serious dangers.

Expensive aids in exchange for a good night’s sleep

The majority of baby sleep aids are quite affordable; however, there are some on the market today that can cost anywhere from $1,000 and up. There are cribs selling for $3,200 that have acrylic sides and air holes cut into them using lasers. There are self-rocking bassinets that sell for $1,500 or more.

You can also purchase products such as in-bed sleepers, baby loungers, and baby pillows. Despite the high price tag, the majority of these items are not recommended for use by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC), the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), or the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The Fisher-Price recall that stunned the market

Fisher-Price released its Rock ‘n Play in 2009 and it was an instant hit for parents of babies who would not sleep through the night, refused to sleep when laid flat, or who couldn’t fall asleep in a traditional bassinet.

Pediatricians immediately complained about the product, claiming that it was dangerous for babies of any age. Fisher-Price ignored those complaints until reports surfaced of more than 30 babies dying while sleeping in the product. The eventual recall from Fisher-Price led to other manufacturers issuing recalls of similar products.

The estimated number of babies who have died from the Rock ‘n Play is now believed to have surpassed 90, according to testimony given in June 2021 by officials from Fisher-Price at a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.

Bare is best method for a sleeping baby

The CPSC recommends that a baby sleep using the “bare is best” method at all times, including during naptime and when being put to bed at night. This method includes the following:

  • The baby should be placed on a bare and flat surface in an item approved by the CPSC
  • On a mattress that is tight-fitting and firm
  • With no stuffed animals, blankets, or loose sheets
  • On their back
  • Dressed in footed pajamas to provide the warmth necessary for a newborn

Generally, the baby should not be laid down to sleep on a couch, chair, or another soft piece of furniture, either.

Is bed sharing bad for babies?

According to AAP, bed-sharing is not recommended for babies of any age, but certain factors can make it even more dangerous. Parents and caretakers should never share a bed with a baby if:

  • The baby is younger than four months old
  • The parent or caretaker has consumed alcohol
  • The baby has a low body weight or was born prematurely
  • The parent or caretaker has taken medication that makes them drowsy
  • There are soft pillows, blankets, or bedding on the bed

In a June 2021 vote, the CPSC decided to require that all baby sleep aids meet existing safety standards by 2022 if the manufacturers wish for them to remain on the market. These standards include those in place for cribs, bassinets, beds, bedside sleepers, and play yards.

Did your baby suffer an injury while in a sleep aid product? The experienced Maryland product liability attorneys at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. can investigate the product, determine if recalls had been issued, and help you recover compensation for your child’s injuries and suffering. Call our office at 410-730-7737, or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. We have multiple offices throughout Maryland to better serve you.

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