Infant sleep positioners — specially shaped cushions meant to keep babies sleeping on their backs — are supposed to help save babies from SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. But the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the FDA warned today that they’ve received a dozen reports of infant suffocation deaths linked to the infant sleep positioners, about one a year.
The AP story is here and the official warning is here. There have been similar warnings about crib “bumpers,” thin cushions placed around the inside of a crib’s slats: they can look cute but have also been reported to pose a suffocation risk.
Pediatricians strongly recommend that babies be placed to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS, and the positioners — which are widely sold, from Amazon.com to Target — are marketed as helpful in keeping babies face up. But the New York Times reports:
“To date, there is no scientifically sound evidence that infant sleep positioners prevent SIDS,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, the F.D.A.’s principal deputy commissioner.