Earlier this week, President Joe Biden signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law. This new federal law bans the sale of two dangerous infant sleep products: crib bumpers and inclined sleepers. Both products have been linked to more than 200 reported infant deaths.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recorded 113 crib bumper-related deaths in addition to more than 100 deaths tied to inclined sleepers from January 1990 through March 2019.
“For decades, consumer, health and parent groups have decried the sale of these dangerous products,” Nancy Cowles, executive director of the group Kids In Danger, said in a statement. “We thank the families and organizations who have worked so hard to keep children safe and look forward to the end of these deadly products on store shelves and in our nurseries.”
According to the CPSC, many versions of these products have been recalled through the years, but some models are still in circulation. Crib bumper pads and inclined sleepers increase the likelihood of suffocation or entrapment, the CPSC says.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has advised against using inclined sleepers and crib bumpers because they increase the risk of suffocation and sleep-related infant death. AAP’s safe sleep recommendations for infants are for them to sleep alone, on their back, on a firm, flat surface (like a crib, play yard, or bassinet), with no extra padding or loose objects like pillows, blankets, or toys in their space.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act was sponsored by senators Senators Duckworth (IL), Portman (OH), Blumenthal (CT) and Brown (OH), and backed by countless safe sleep advocacy groups, parents, and pediatricians.
Mom Sara Thompson lost her infant son Alex when he died in an inclined sleep product—the now-recalled Fisher Price Rock ‘n Play—in 2011.
“After years of perseverance and many tears, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act has finally been
signed into law,” Thompson says in a statement for the CPSC. “Hopefully, this will help lower the number of preventable infant deaths. For all of our angels and all of the grieving parents, this is a victory in their memory. I urge parents now to take the danger seriously and listen to the science.”