Consumer report warns about dangers of using sleep pods and infant recliners after babies dying
Several UK retailers including Tesco, Mothercare, John Lewis and eBay have announced they’re removing baby sleep positioners from sale following evidence of a link to the deaths of several babies in the USA over the past few years.
The move by the retailers comes after the FDA (The US Food and Drug Administration) recently released an updated safety statement reminding parents and caregivers not to put babies in sleep positioners.
The FDA explained the move with this statement: “These products – sometimes also called ‘nests’ or ‘anti-roll’ products – can cause suffocation (a struggle to breathe) that can lead to death.”
This comes in the wake of a product recall in the US after a consumer watchdog linked at least 30 baby deaths to the Fisher Price Rock 'n Play Sleeper.
This is of great concern, as many parents of infants own and use products similar to these with their own babies daily.
So while they may be trendy, and look cute, baby "pods" or "cocoons," made popular by many a celebrity mum and social influencer, could be putting babies at risk of suffocation.
Even though the BPA (Baby Products Association) in the UK, which represents baby manufacturers and develops product standards, are keen to point out that sleep positioners and baby nests are not the same thing, and should not be grouped together in this warning, the Lullyby Trust, a UK SIDS charity, is warning that many of these popular sleeping products for babies do not conform to safer sleep guidelines, and should really be completely avoided.
On their website, they state:
"Items such as cushioned sleeping pods, nests, baby hammocks, cot bumpers, pillows, duvets and anything that wedges or straps a baby in place can pose a risk to babies under 12 months. Evidence shows that sleeping a baby on anything but a firm, flat surface, or using soft, heavy bedding, can increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). They can lead overheating or potentially obstruct a baby’s airway if they roll or their face becomes covered by loose bedding."
Here is what Francine Bates, Chief Executive of The Lullaby Trust, had to say:
“As a SIDS charity, we have watched with concern as products that go against safer sleep advice gain popularity. It is hard for parents when they are trying to choose from the overwhelming number of baby products on offer and many people make the reasonable assumption that if an item is sold on the high street or made by a recognised brand it is safe for their baby.
When choosing sleep items for a baby there are actually just a few key essentials parents need and it isn’t necessary to spend a fortune on lots of products or choose more expensive brands. We have produced a product guide and accompanying resources to help parents feel confident in knowing what to look for when choosing sleep items for their baby”
The HSE in Ireland also recommends that parents avoid sleep positioners, as well as keeping cots clear of anything loose or fluffy, including toys, bumpers, pillows, duvets, wedges or bedding rolls.