Infants need a lot of sleep, and manufacturers have created a wide variety of products for them to sleep in and on so that parents and child care providers can move babies from room to room easily. Parents have a right to expect that the sleeper designs are safe for their intended use. Recent investigations and recalls indicate that inclined sleepers may be dangerous.
According to Consumer Reports, as of January 30, manufacturers have recalled a total of eight infant inclined sleeper products, and many retailers are pulling all inclined sleepers from their shelves and websites. Some manufacturers are issuing the recalls voluntarily as a safety precaution, even though their products comply with regulations and have not caused injuries.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission notes that regardless of design, inclined sleepers create a suffocation risk; research shows that an incline between 10 and 30 degrees creates the potential for airway compression and suffocation. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that parents should place babies on their backs on a firm, flat surface to sleep. The AAP does not recommend bumpers, soft bedding or restraints.
Over 1,000 infants have experienced injuries while using the products, and reports indicate at least 73 infant deaths. Safety advocates are calling for a ban on all inclined sleep products, and federal legislation seems to be moving that direction with the Safe Sleep for Babies Act. If approved, this law would effectively ban all unsafe infant sleep products, including the inclined sleepers.
Parents may check for recalls on the CPSC.gov website, and may also report incidents involving inclined sleepers or other potentially dangerous products to the CPSC. Often, people seek justice after a dangerous product injury or death by filing a lawsuit.