Sleep is a precious commodity for parents with infants, so a product that claims to help babies sleep more easily will grab their attention. Because there are federal safety standards in place, parents may never think of doing research to determine whether the product will harm their child. They should not have to.
However, according to Consumer Reports, incline sleepers can be fatal, and yet there are still many brands on the market.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that, for maximum safety, babies should sleep flat on their backs. Incline sleepers have an angle of 10 to 30 degrees, though, and that allows an infant’s head to sink toward its chest, blocking the airway and causing a suffocation risk.
Infants are also at risk for suffocation if the surface they are on is not firm and clear of soft bedding. In an incline sleeper, the angle makes it possible for a baby to turn to the sidewall or the headrest and suffocate.
More than 5 million of the sleepers are the subject of recalls from companies that include Fisher-Price, Graco and Evenflo. Not only that, but many retailers have voluntarily pulled all incline sleepers from their shelves at physical locations and websites. The U.S. may soon officially ban this infant product.
A search for “incline sleepers” on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website reveals thousands of specific product results that include reports of dangers to infants such as entrapment, falls and suffocation. Many of the reports include fatalities, as well.
Parents can search the CPSC website to check for recalls on any specific product or product type and discover whether it has caused harm or has the potential to cause harm.