New Law Bans Certain Baby Sleep Products
A good night’s rest is important for everyone. As parents, we know that this is especially true for infants. That’s why it is important to discuss the U.S. government’s new law that bans certain baby sleep products.
Which Baby Sleep Products Are Banned?
On Monday, the President signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021. To start, we should specify that not every sleep product that is banned. There are two categories that have been selected for this Act. This is after those two categories were linked to nearly 200 infant deaths.
The Act will stop the manufacturing and sale of certain inclined infant sleepers and crib bumpers. These baby sleep products are marketed as a safety precaution for parents, but can easily lead to tragedy. We’ll dig further into these two categories in the following section.
In the past, this blog has paid special attention to inclined sleepers. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been more than 30 deaths and 700 injuries due to inclined infant sleepers since 2005. Rather than improving over time, statistics show that 16 of these fatalities have occurred since 2016. Put simply, the problem is getting worse.
One of the major problems we’ve seen is how these inclined sleepers are used. Essentially, many people are not following the proper instructions. Without specifically and correctly locking the child into the sleeper, there is a risk that the straps can get tangled. If these tangle around a little one’s neck, it can suffocate them.
This newly signed legislation bans the creation of inclined sleepers that tilt greater than 10 degrees and are "intended, marketed, or designed" as a sleeping surface for children up to age one. To learn more about the dangers of these baby sleep products, read our full article about the dangers of Infant Inclined Sleepers.
The next baby sleep products on the list are crib bumper pads. The Safe Sleep for Babies Act makes it illegal to make certain bumper pads. While these products are aimed at preventing babies from injuring themselves on the sides of a crib or fitting between the slats, they can sometimes cause suffocation concerns. This ban will include padded crib bumpers, vinyl bumper guards and vertical crib slat covers.
These safety devices have been a concern for a while, but many parents are unaware of the potential dangers. Major children’s safety organizations, including CPSC, American Pediatrics Association (APA) and National SIDS Alliance all stress the danger of these products and urge parents to remove them from all cribs.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act will not include non-padded mesh crib liners. These are still considered safe and are excluded from the ban. To learn more about this issue, read our full blog post on the dangers of crib bumper pads.
This law will prevent the creation of these products no later than 180 days after it goes into effect. That said, parents and guardians will always be a baby’s biggest advocates. That starts with smart sleeping habits.
For babies, the best way to sleep is always on their back. Parents should take care to avoid putting a little one on her side or belly. This can lead to the baby rolling over and increasing their risk of suffocation. To learn more, read our Four Tips for Safer Infant Sleeping blog post.