Borchardt Consulting

Movement Monitors For Baby

Posted on: June 9, 2012

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)  has issued a warning that baby monitors have caused the strangulation death of a number of infants after the babies became entangled in the cords.  In addition, the CPSC and the FDA have issued a joint statment concerning products that claim to “Prevent SIDS”.

The best thing you can do to lower the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is to place your baby on his or her back to sleep, with nothing else in the crib or bassinet.  That’s the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is working to prevent manufacturers of over-the-counter sleep products for babies from claiming that their use will prevent or lower the chance of SIDS. These products include infant positioners, mattresses, crib bedding, pillows, crib tents and baby monitors. Baby products that claim to cure, treat or prevent any condition are considered medical devices, and are subject to FDA regulations designed to protect consumers and patients.

The agency has never approved a product to prevent SIDS—the unexplained death of a baby younger than age 1—and is asking manufacturers to stop marketing their products with these claims until they have received FDA clearance or approval, or to change their labeling to remove all medical claims.

“These products are absolutely not necessary and they can be very dangerous,” says Susan Cummins, M.D., M.P.H., chief pediatric medical officer in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) cannot be predicted or prevented with the use of monitors.  Babies that die from SIDS do not give 20 seconds warning that they are about to die.  Further, some mental health experts believe that the use of infant monitors increase the anxiety of parents.  The best approach for parents with young infants is to place baby to sleep in a safe sleep space (crib, portable play yard, bassinet etc.) in the parents room.  Room-sharing has been found to be protective against SIDS and allows the parent’s to quickly respond to baby’s needs without the use of monitoring devices.

Note:  The ASTM just instituted a requirement that all baby monitors have a warning that these devices can cause strangulation.

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