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Parents and Caregivers Reminded of Safe Sleep Guidance

Release Date: September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Babies spend most of their time sleeping, so the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents and caregivers to get “back to basics” to make sure that baby’s sleep spaces are safe. CPSC’s new public service announcement focuses on three key reminders for safe sleep:  

  1. Back to Sleep: Always place the baby to sleep on the baby’s back to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUID/SIDS) and suffocation;
  2. Bare is Best: Always keep the baby’s sleep space bare (fitted sheet only) to prevent suffocation. Do not use pillows, padded crib bumpers, quilts or comforters; and 
  3. Only place the baby to sleep in a product that is intended for sleep. Transfer the baby to a crib, bassinet, play yard or bedside sleeper if the baby falls asleep in a swing, bouncer, lounger or similar product. 

CPSC’s most recent report on nursery product injuries and deaths shows that cribs/mattresses, playpens/play yards, bassinets/cradles, infant carriers and inclined infant sleep products were associated with 83 percent of the fatalities reported. About one-third (32 percent) of infant and toddler fatalities were associated with cribs and/or mattresses, while bassinets/cradles, infant carriers and inclined sleep products, collectively, were associated with an additional one-third (32 percent) of fatalities. Most of these nursery product-related deaths are due to asphyxiation resulting from a cluttered or hazardous sleep environment. The sleep area is often cluttered with extra bedding, such as pillows, blankets, comforters and plush toys. 

Beginning in mid-2022, any product intended or marketed for infant sleep must meet a new federal safety standard. This new mandatory standard will effectively eliminate potentially hazardous sleep products in the marketplace that currently do not meet a CPSC mandatory standard for infant sleep, such as inclined sleepers, travel and compact bassinets and in-bed sleepers, which have been linked to dozens of infant deaths. Popular products formerly referred to as “inclined sleep products” include several styles that have been recalled over the years.

“Protecting babies and toddlers is among the most sacred of our obligations as Commissioners,” said CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler. “We are dedicated to using all the tools at the agency’s disposal—education, enforcement and rulemaking—to ensure that when a product is intended or marketed for sleep, it will indeed be safe for an infant to sleep.”

The new federal safety rule incorporates the most recent voluntary standard developed by ASTM International (ASTM F3118-17a, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Infant Inclined Sleep Products), with modifications to make the standard more stringent. The new standard requires that infant sleep products that do not already meet the requirements of an existing CPSC sleep standard now must be tested to confirm that the angle of the sleep surface is 10 degrees or lower, and that the products comply with the agency’s Safety Standard for Bassinets and Cradles.

For more tips on baby safety, recalled baby products and to view CPSC’s newest baby safety PSA, “Back to Basics,” visit CPSC’s Safe Sleep and Crib Safety Education Center here

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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. 

Federal law prohibits any person from selling products subject to a Commission ordered recall or a voluntary recall undertaken in consultation with the CPSC.

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