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CPSC, JPMA Launch Campaign About the Hidden Hazards of Placing Babies in Adult Beds

Release Date: May 03, 2002

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) today launched a national safety campaign aimed at reducing deaths associated with placing babies in adult beds. The announcement was made at a press conference at the annual International Juvenile Products Show in Dallas, Texas. CPSC data shows that from 1999 through 2001 at least 180 children under the age of two died after being placed in adult beds.

The national safety campaign encourages safe sleeping practices for babies. The campaign will be targeted to reach new and expectant parents, day care providers, hospitals and health departments.

"Many parents may be unaware of the hidden dangers associated with placing babies in adult beds," said Acting CPSC Chairman Thomas Moore. "We are warning parents that simply pushing an adult bed against a wall or lining the edges of a bed with pillows won't protect their babies. In fact, these practices place infants in danger of suffocation and entrapment."

Robert Waller, Jr. executive vice president of JPMA said, "We are pleased to launch this national safety campaign with the CPSC to help inform parents of the hidden hazards of placing babies in adult beds. Our members hope to contribute to this effort by helping to get the word out with information provided to consumers at retail outlets nationwide."

The CPSC data shows that babies placed in adult beds are at risk of dying from several hidden hazards including:

- Entrapment between the bed and wall, or between the bed and another object.

- Entrapment involving headboards, footboards or bed frames.

- Soft bedding-related hazards (such as suffocation on a pillow).

- Falls (sometimes into a pile of clothing or plastic, resulting in suffocation).

- Overlaying of the baby by another child or adult in the bed.

The campaign will include a video news release (VNR) that will be fed to stations nationwide highlighting the hazards associated with placing babies in adult beds and safety pamphlets/posters distributed through retailers, hospitals, health departments and various grass roots organizations.

Acting CPSC Chairman Thomas Moore said "Many of these tragic deaths associated with placing babies in adult beds are preventable."

The CPSC recommends the following safety tips to ensure that babies under 24 months sleep safely:

- Don't place a baby to sleep in an adult bed.

     Hidden hazard: The baby could become entrapped between the bed & wall, or in headboards, footboards, bedframes. Babies could also fall or suffocate in soft bedding.

- Place babies to sleep on their backs in a crib that meets current safety standards and has a firm, tight-fitting mattress. If you use a portable crib or playpen, make sure it meets current safety standards. Use only the mattress or pad provided by the manufacturer.

-Babies should be placed to sleep on their backs, not their stomachs.

     Hidden hazard: According to the Back to Sleep Campaign, "Babies sleeping on their stomachs seem to be more likely to succumb to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)."

- Don't place a baby to sleep on soft bedding.

     Hidden Hazard: The baby could suffocate. Do not use soft bedding such as pillows and thick quilts and comforters for infants under 12 months old.

For additional safety information on safe sleeping practices for babies, contact the CPSC at (800) 638-2772 or write to CPSC, Washington, DC 20207 or visit our web site at

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About the U.S. CPSC
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related 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 injuries associated with consumer products over the past 50 years. 

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