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Recommendations Revised To Prevent Infant Deaths from Soft Bedding

Release Date: April 08, 1999

To prevent deaths from soft bedding, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) are revising their recommendations for putting infants down to sleep. Soft bedding may be a major contributor to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS.

The CPSC, AAP and NICHD recommend that infants under 12 months be put to sleep in a crib with no soft bedding of any kind under or on top of the baby. Consider using a sleeper or other sleep clothing as an alternative to blankets with no other covering. If using a blanket, put baby with its feet at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, only as far as the baby's chest.

For years, CPSC has warned parents and caregivers to place infants to sleep on their backs in a crib with a firm, tight-fitting mattress; and never to place infants on top of soft, fluffy bedding because if the baby rolls over, the bedding can become molded around the infant's face. Past studies have shown that as many as one-third of the babies who die from SIDS each year may have suffocated when placed on top of soft bedding, such as pillows, comforters, or sheepskins. While deaths from SIDS have dropped dramatically in recent years after the Back-to-Sleep Campaign, as many as 900 infant deaths each year are still associated with suffocation in soft bedding.

New information shows that babies are also at increased risk for SIDS if they get their heads covered by soft bedding even while they sleep. Babies have been found dead with their heads covered by soft bedding even while they were sleeping on their backs.
Today, the CPSC, the AAP and the NICHD are releasing the following revised recommendations:

- Place baby on his/her back on a firm, tight-fitting mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards.

- Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft products from the crib.

- Consider using a sleeper as an alternative to blankets with no other covering.

- If using a blanket, put baby with its feet at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, only as far as the baby's chest.

- Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered during sleep.

- Do not place baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow or other soft surface to sleep.

A Safety Alert on Safe Bedding Practices is available in English and Spanish (texto Español).

Release Number
99-091

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

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