A Safe Sleep For All Babies; CPSC and Child Safety Partners Launch National Education Campaign on Crib Safety For New and Expectant Parents

CPSC is collaborating with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, and renowned journalist and mom Joan Lunden.
October 22, 2010
Release Number: 11-021

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) joined three child safety organizations at New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital to release "Safe Sleep for Babies," a new crib safety video aimed at helping all new parents avoid suffocation, strangulation and entrapment risks in the sleep environment. CPSC also is announcing three new recalls of dangerous drop-side cribs.

CPSC is collaborating with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Keeping Babies Safe (KBS), New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital, and renowned journalist and mom Joan Lunden to educate new and expectant parents and caregivers on crib safety while they are at the hospital or visiting their pediatrician's office. The video (transcript) demonstrates how to keep babies safe and sound in cribs, bassinets and play yards.

"Nurses will not allow newborn babies to leave the hospital without parents having a safe car seat. I also believe that we need to make sure that new parents provide a safe crib, bassinet or play yard for their babies to sleep in," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. "By reaching new parents before they leave the hospital and again when they visit their pediatrician or health clinic, we hope to prevent deaths and ensure that all babies have a safe sleep."

This education effort is part of CPSC's Safe Sleep Initiative, a multi-pronged effort aimed at reducing deaths and injuries associated with unsafe sleep environments. In addition to this education effort, CPSC's Safe Sleep Initiative includes the development of new crib standards, warnings about drop-side cribs, sleep positioners, and infant slings, and the recall of millions of cribs in the past five years.

CPSC is aware of about 30 crib deaths and hundreds of injuries. Cribs are a leading cause of nursery product-related deaths. About one-third of the deaths result from structural failures of the crib from loose, missing, or detached hardware. The majority of deaths in cribs are attributed to the presence of extra bedding in the crib, such as pillows and comforters.

Moderated by Joan Lunden, CPSC will distribute this "Safe Sleep" video online and through its network of about 100 hospitals nationwide.

"By spearheading a comprehensive training program for health professionals on safe sleep practices and distributing the video to hospitals nationwide we will help educate new parents before they leave the hospital," said Joyce Davis, President of Keeping Babies Safe. "Also the video will be available at www.keepingbabiessafe.org"

"Annually we care for thousands of babies by ensuring their health and safety from the day they are born," said Dr. Herbert Pardes, President and CEO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. "I want to thank CPSC, KBS and AAP for leading this important effort to equip parents with the information they need to provide their babies with a safe sleep." New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital plans to make the video available to all families as part of their parent education programs, and provide copies to hospitals in the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Healthcare System.

"The AAP is proud to have a long history of activism on Safe Sleep issues. For decades, the AAP has been involved in the development of safety standards for cribs and bassinets, warnings about unsafe crib accessories and bumpers, and helpful practices to keep babies secure," says AAP President O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP. "The National Safe Sleep Education Campaign gives us a new avenue for educating new and expecting parent." AAP will promote the video to its 60,000 members and will feature it on AAP's parents-focused website, www.healthychildren.org, where it will be available for download.

"There is no greater concern for a parent than our children's safety," said Joan Lunden. "I am honored to be working with the CPSC, the AAP, and Keeping Babies Safe to bring this information to parents across America."

In order to create a safe sleep environment for your baby, the video urges parents and caregivers to follow these crib safety tips below:

- Place infants to sleep on their backs

- Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress

- Never use extra padding, blankets or pillows under baby

- Remove pillows or thick comforters

- Do not use positioning devices – they are not necessary and can be deadly

- Regularly check cribs for loose, missing or broken parts or slats

- Do not try to fix a broken crib

- Place cribs or playpens away from windows and window covering cords to avoid fall and strangulation hazards

- Place baby monitor cords away from cribs or playpens to avoid strangulation

Today, CPSC also announced three new drop-side crib recalls. Go to: www.cpsc.gov

Important Message from CPSC: CPSC reminds parents not to use any crib with missing, broken or loose parts. Make sure to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy. When using a drop-side crib, parents should check to make sure the drop side or any other moving part operates smoothly. Always check all sides and corners of the crib for parts separating that can create a gap and entrap a child. In addition, do not try to repair any side of the crib. Babies have died in cribs where repairs were attempted by caregivers. Crib age is a factor in safety. At a minimum, CPSC staff recommends that you not use a crib that is older than 10 years. Many older cribs may not meet current voluntary standards and can have a variety of safety problems. Check if your crib has been recalled at www.cpsc.gov

Visit CPSC's Crib Information Center for more information on Crib Safety and Recalls.