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Beware: Weighted Infant Swaddles and Blankets Are Unsafe for Sleep; Retailers Should Consider Stopping Sales

April 15, 2024

CPSC has a clear warning for safe infant sleep: “Don’t use weighted blankets or weighted swaddles” for your babies. This matches the warnings from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that weighted products “can pose dangers for babies,” and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that “[w]eighted products such as weighted sleepers, weighted swaddles, weighted sleep sacks, and weighted blankets are not safe for infants.”  

There are multiple infant deaths in these products. As the co-chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP’s) task force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Dr. Rachel Moon, explained to the Washington Post: “When babies are first born, their rib cage is not rigid, and so it doesn’t take a lot of pressure to press on it and create obstruction there. It makes it harder for them to breathe, it makes it harder for their heart to beat properly if there’s pressure on there.”

AAP also cites risks to babies’ brain development, stating that “there is evidence that the use of weighted sleep products on infants can lead to lower oxygen levels, which . . . may be harmful to the developing infant’s brain.”

AAP, in calling weighted sleep sacks “not safe for infants,” urges quick action to “avoid a repeat of what happened with inclined sleepers,” like the Rock N’ Play, which “ultimately were associated with over 100 infants’ death—all of which would have been prevented if these products were not kept on the consumer market.”

So, CPSC, NIH, CDC, and AAP have all warned the public not to use weighted swaddles and blankets. Last fall, I tried to amend CPSC’s operating plan to start work on a rule to protect babies from weighted products, but was unable to garner the necessary support at that time.  

But we do not have to wait for a federal rule to start protecting babies. Retailers could take precautions today—they have the power to stop sales. In the interest of public safety, I’ve asked retailers nationwide to reflect on this question: with all the advice out there cautioning against their use, are weighted infant swaddles really what you want to be selling to your consumers? I expect many responsible retailers, armed with this knowledge, will say “no.” Stay tuned for those decisions.    


Your consumer advocate at the Consumer Product Safety Commission

Commissioner Richard L. Trumka Jr. 


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