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Posts Tagged ‘Baby Products

Summer is here and with it comes a steady stream of stories about babies and children being left in cars with tragic consequences.  But another overheating danger is rarely discussed:.  Babies overheating in strollers. It is a common sight to see a parent pushing a stroller, with a thin blanket or towel draped over to protect the child from the sun.  Covered Stroller

Swedish newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet decided to run an experiment  to find out just how it could get inside the stroller. They left a stroller out in the sun (without baby, naturally) between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on a hot day, initially without a covering blanket. The temperature inside the stroller reached 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 Fahrenheit). A thin blanket was then placed over the stroller for the following 30 minutes, after which the temperature soared to 34 degrees Celsius (93.2 degrees Fahrenheit). After an hour, the temperature was up to 37 degrees Celsius (98.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

This experiment was done without the added heat of baby’s own body temperature increasing the temperature.  Instead of protecting the baby from the sun, the parent is inadvertently increasing the danger to the baby. Depending on the design of the stroller, the air circulation may not be the best.  Add the increase in temperature and baby can become overheated.   Overheating also increases the risk for SIDS.




Slumped babyInfant swings, cradle swings and travel swings are all included in the new safety standards issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Swings are stationary juvenile products with a frame and powered  mechanism that enables an infant to swing in a seated position. An infant swing  is intended for use with infants from birth until a child is able to sit up  unassisted.

The new federal standard requires:

  • a stronger, more explicit warning label to prevent slump-over deaths. The  warning advises consumers to use a swing in the most reclined position until an  infant is 4 months old and can hold up its head without help;
  • the cradle swing surface to remain relatively flat, while in motion, and  while at rest;
  • electrically-powered swings to be designed to prevent battery leakage and  overheating.;
  • toy mobiles to be designed to ensure that toys do not detach when pulled;
  • swings with seats angles greater than 50 degrees to have shoulder strap  restraints; and
  • a stability test that prevents the swing from tipping over;
  • a test that prevents unintentional folding;
  • tests on restraint systems, which are intended to prevent slippage and breakage of the restraints during use;
  • dynamic and static load requirements to ensure that the infant swing can  handle specified loads without breaking.

These new requirements will become mandatory on all swings manufactured after May 7, 2013.

Parents are encouraged to place the infant in the most reclined position available on their particular swing until the infant is able to hold his/her self up.  Do not use any blankets or other products to prop the baby in the swing (as shown in the picture).



Do you  have a crib in your baby’s room or basement?  If it was manufactured prior to 2011, it probably isn’t safe. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has mandated new standards for full-size and non-full-size baby cribs. The crib standards had not been updated in nearly 30 years.  Further, since 2007, the CPSC has recalled more than 11 million dangerous cribs. 

Once they become effective, the mandatory crib standards will: (1) stop the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs; (2) make mattress supports stronger; (3) make crib hardware more durable; and (4) make safety testing more rigorous.

Effective June 2011, cribs manufactured, sold, or leased in the United States must comply with the new federal standards. Effective December, 2012, child care facilities, such as family child care homes and infant Head Start centers, and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, must have compliant cribs in their facilities.

How do you know if the crib you have meets the latest safety standards?

  1. Marking on the crib shows the date of manufacture is after June 28, 2011.
  2. The crib has a Certificate of Compliance from the manufacturer.

Purchase receipts and registration cards do not prove that the crib is safe.

Before putting your baby down to sleep, check the crib.  Do not put your baby in any crib that you have not personally checked.

For more information on crib safety and safe sleep environments for baby, visit CPSC’s crib information center at:

Borchardt Consulting offers classes to childcare providers and parent groups on many of the products that parents ask about for their infants.

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.

Some months ago, I was contacted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to discuss infant products.  They had heard through their partnership with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)  that I had been advocating for professionals to contact baby product companies when they made claims that a product would protect a baby from SIDS.   Shortly thereafter, they issued a joint press release with the CPSC that they were going to start cracking down on false claims.  I believe that has been going on in the background.  Finally, the FDA issued a warning to consumers. Claiming to prevent SIDS is a medical claim.

FDA Product Enforcement

FDA Goes after Unproven Claims

The FDA has never cleared or approved a baby product to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS. The Agency is not aware of any scientific studies showing that a medical device prevents or reduces the risk of SIDS.

Examples of common over-the-counter baby products with unproven claims to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS include:

  • baby monitors,
  • mattresses,
  • crib tents,
  • pillows,
  • crib bedding, including bumpers and blankets, and
  • infant positioners.
Recently, the FDA has improved on our idea.  They have developed a way for consumers and professionals to report a product.  See their instructions listed below.

How to Report a Complaint or Problem

Report a Complaint

If you have questions or complaints about a baby product with medical claims, you can call FDA at 1-888-INFO-FDA (1-888-463-6332) or your local FDA district office. They will be able to tell you if the FDA has cleared or approved the medical device in question.

Report a Problem

If you experience an injury or malfunction when using a baby device, we encourage you to file a voluntary report by phone at 1-800-FDA-1088 or online at MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting program.

Please include the following information in your reports:

  • Manufacturer’s Name
  • Device Name (Brand Name)
  • Date Device was Manufactured
  • Distributor’s Name
  • Details of Adverse Event and Medical and/or Surgical Interventions (if required)

I am thrilled at this new move!  Thank you FDA!

I was cleaning out my purse and found an article from “Ask Amy” that I’ve been carrying around since July 25, 2010.  The column read as follows:

Dear Amy:  “Need Help in N.Y.” didn’t want to ask his parents to replace their out-dated baby equipment.  I was faced with this same issue.  We kept some baby equipment, thinking we would use this stuff for our grandkids.  We found out that the drop-side crib will soon be banned.  The car seats had expired.  We broke the crib and the car seat and made sure they were not usable.  If anything ever happened to our grandkids because of outdated equipment, I seriously doubt I could live another day.

If that grandma wants to preserve her antique baby stuff, she should stick it in a corner and put a doll in it, but don’t use it for her precious grandkids.  Grandma In Illinois

Dear Grandma:  Just becasue baby equipment has already served generations of a family doesn’t mean it is safe to continue to use.  I urge all caregivers to make sure their older baby equipjent is safe and in good repair.  Amy Dickinson

Amen.  Amen.   If you have any baby products stored in your basement from when your children were babies – get rid of them!  New crib standards mean that ANY crib that was manufactured  prior to June 2011 needs to be destroyed.  It no longer meets the current crib standards for safety.  Portable play yards are in the process now of having new standards created.

Destroy old baby eqiupment.  This recommendation isn’t because the manufacturers want you to spend more money.  It’s because products are improved over time.  Yes, I know that all your kids slept in that crib and they were just fine.  But, that just makes you lucky.  Is your crib painted with lead paint?  Do you even know?  Are the slats the correct width?  (The answer is no greater than a pop can.)  Does it have drop sides?  Get rid of it.  How about that infant mattress.  Do you know if there is mold inside?

Don’t be an old fuddy duddy that always thinks things “back in the day” were better. We had the best we could afford for our babies.  Don’t you want the same for your grandbaby?

For years we have tried to educate new parents on the use of a “firm” sleep surface for baby.  Unfortunately, new research by Dr. Rachel Moon has demonstrated that many parents still equate “comfortable” with “soft”.

Parents, please listen.  We know that soft bedding such as pillows, bumpers, comforters and other items traditionally found in infant beds are suffocation hazards.  Please remove them from your infants crib.

That goes for your bed too if you are bringing your baby into bed with you.  Soft bedding is a hazard to a baby.

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