A recent recall of an inclined Fisher-Price crib, due to dozens of infant deaths, highlighted concerns over safe infant sleeping practices. The recall comes at a time when infant sleeping safety is already well-known in the pediatrics community, following the release of a long-term study published in Pediatrics that looked at infant mortality. The study found that most infant deaths in a seated position occurred in car seats where infants had been sleeping.
Safest Sleeping Position for Infants?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that the most safe sleeping position for infants is on their back using a firm, flat surface with little or no bedding. Infants do not have the same neck strength as adults and are more susceptible to weak neck support problems. Sleeping at an angle, such as in a car seat or an inclined crib, can cause infants to suffer asphyxiation. The AAP recommends “that babies be placed for sleep in a supine position for every sleep by every caregiver until the child reaches 1 year of age. Loose bedding and soft objects must be kept out of the sleep area. Sitting devices should not be used for routine sleep.”
Improper Car Seat Use
Parents often let their kids sleep in car seats. Either on long car trips or for the sake of convenience, kids often end up falling asleep in car seats. Car seats seem safe to many parents, as they support and protect children most of the time. However, for young children and infants, sleeping in car seats can be deadly. The AAP says that a majority of infant deaths in car seats actually don’t happen during travel. In over 90% of infant deaths that occurred in car seats, parents were found to have been either improperly using the seat or using it for something other than its intended purpose. The AAP recommends separating sleep and travel. If your infant needs to sleep during or after traveling, make sure that the infant uses the car seat properly during travel. Bring a crib or bassinet for sleeping later. Make it clear to any caregiver that the car seat is only for travel, not for rest.
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Source: RHL Law