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Posts Tagged ‘CPSC

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's and Don'ts of Sling Safety

Do’s and Don’ts of Sling Safety

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned parents and caregivers about using a sling for infants younger than 4 months of age, preemies and twins. 


Slings can pose two different types of suffocation hazards to babies. In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because of weak neck muscles. The sling’s fabric can press against an infant’s nose and mouth, blocking the baby’s breathing and rapidly suffocating a baby within a minute or two. Additionally, where a sling keeps the infant in a curled position bending the chin toward the chest, the airways can be restricted, limiting the oxygen supply. The baby will not be able to cry for help and can slowly suffocate. 

 CPSC recommends that parents and caregivers make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times to the sling’s wearer. If nursing the baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body. Parents and caregivers should be vigilant about frequently checking their baby in a sling.

Cultures throughout the world carry babies in slings but correct positioning is crucial.  Follow these simple guidelines:

  1. Always be able to see your baby’s face.
  2. Nose and Mouth should be clear.
  3. Baby’s chin should be up.

When baby is in a sling, baby shares your body heat and has the additional covering of the sling.  Make certain that baby is not too warm.  His or her head should be uncovered.

Enjoy having your baby close!

SIDS has been every new parents nightmare since biblical times.  No more.  Parents now have the tools to keep  their babies safe. The goal to keep baby safe begins when you’re pregnant.

  1. Moms get early prenatal care.  See your doctor often when pregnant.
  2. Create a healthy lifestyle while pregnant.
  3. Don’t smoke while pregnant or let anyone smoke around you and your baby.
  4. Don’t drink or use drugs while pregnant.
  5. Plan to breastfeed as long as possible.

Getting the nursery ready is simplier than ever.  Remember, less is more.  Decorate the baby’s room.  Not the baby’s crib.  All you need is a safe crib, a firm mattress (read hard) and a fitted sheet.  That’s it.  Your crib should be manufactured after June 28, 2011 to ensure that it meets all the latest safety guidelines.  This is a place that you will leave your baby unattended for hours so don’t cut corners here.  Don’t borrow an old crib or buy one at the second hand store.  If you plan to use a portable play yard as your baby’s crib, there are new safety standards that will go into effect December 2012.  Place the crib in your room for the first 6 months of baby’s life.

Unsafe Crib

Unsafe Crib

Bumpers, quilts, pillows and stuffed animals should never be in baby’s crib.  They are all too soft and fluffy for an infant. and they pose a suffocation hazard for your baby.  When your baby is old enough to be put in the toddler bed, you can start allowing soft items.  Recently, the Juvinille Products Safety Commission admitted that it could not show any proof that bumpers keep a baby safe from getting arms or legs stuck in the crib slats nor could they prove that bumpers keep baby safe from head injury.  Unfortunately, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and SIDS researchers can prove that bumpers have been directly responsible for the deaths of some infants.  They may be cute, but the are not worth the risk to your baby.

After baby is born, just a few more simple behaviors for parents:

  1. But baby on his or her back alone in the crib.
  2. Use a pacifier after breastfeeding is firmly established for sleep times.
  3. Do not cover baby’s head with hats or blankets.
  4. Put baby in a wearable sleep sack or feetie jammies rather than using blankets.
  5. Swaddle baby if needed, but only up to 6 weeks…and remember to dress baby lighter since you hold in body heat with the blanket.
  6. Get baby all recommended vacinnations.
  7. Never put baby on an adult surface like a couch or adult bed to sleep.

That’s it! You have all the tools needed to keep your baby safe from both SIDS and other sleep related deaths.  Oh, don’t forget that baby needs good tummy time when awake for proper development.  Enjoy your baby!

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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.

Last week on Private Practice one of the doctors had a new baby.  Unfortunately, the depiction of the baby’s crib was very unsafe.  This just frosts me!  Safe Sleep practices have been well documented and countless hours are spent by health professionals and not-for-profit organizations trying to spread the word to new parents about the importance of placing baby on his back, alone in a safe crib with no soft bedding.  Then, one television show comes along and wipes out much of that good work.

We know from our research that parents are heavily influenced by advertisements, magazine articles and television shows depicting baby rooms.  When talking with new parents, we hear all about J-Lo’s twins cribs (YIKES), and now this.  Why is it so difficult to incorporate a safe sleep message into these shows.  As the saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words.  Do you think that you might have noticed if Dr. Montgomery had placed her little Henry down in a crib without bumpers, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals and a hat on his head?

Kudos to the Consumer Product Safety Commision for writing such a well-done letter to those in charge at Private Practice.

By CPSC Blogger on May 1, 2012

Dear Dr. Addison Montgomery,

On last week’s episode of “Private Practice,” we saw that you have a new baby. Congratulations on becoming Henry’s mom! As you’re learning, parenthood is life altering.

You’re clearly a mom who researches and finds the best for her baby, even supplying breast milk from a milk bank. As an obstetrician, however, we would expect you to have researched the latest information about crib safety as well.

Henry's cluttered crib on the ABC TV Show "Private Practice"

This screen grab from “Private Practice” shows baby Henry in his crib

Those blankets and pillows in the crib have to go. Henry doesn’t need the cushioning. His baby needs are different than adult needs like yours. CPSC staff estimates that between 1992 and 2010 there were nearly 700 deaths involving children 12 months and younger related to pillows and cushions. Nearly half of the infant crib deaths and two-thirds of bassinet deaths reported to CPSC each year are suffocations from a baby being placed on top of pillows and thick quilts or because of overcrowding in the baby’s sleeping space.

We are disappointed with the lack of research that went into creating Henry’s nursery, so allow us to help. We have a great video here that can teach you about how to put Henry to sleep safely. While you rightly placed Henry on his back, we did a double take through the TV for all the loose blankets and clutter in Henry’s crib.

In Henry’s — or any baby’s crib — bare is best. As a respected obstetrician watched in millions of homes around the country, we expect better.

Henry needs a firm, flat surface and nothing else.

Even though the pillow in the back of Henry’s crib looks small, pillows are a big problem in cribs. Pillows can block babies’ noses and mouths and can cause them to suffocate. On average, there are 32 infant deaths each year on pillows used as a mattress or to prop babies’ heads. The majority of these deaths are to infants in their first three months of life, just like Henry.

We’re guessing that you covered Henry with all those blankets in a well-meaning way, worried about his temperature. If his room is cold, dress him in warm clothes like footie pajamas. Do not use thick blankets. Babies can and do get their faces stuck in thick blankets and suffocate.

Thanks for taking the time to read and learn about how to make Henry’s crib safer for him. We hope he starts sleeping through the night for you soon!


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Children’s Safe Sleep Team

The FDA continues to talk about the dangers of sleep positioners and other products that make specific claims to “prevent SIDS”.   At first glance, it seems like an over-reaction to a small number of accidental suffocation deaths – 13.  However, the number is actually much higher.  Unfortunately, many babies die with unsafe products like bumpers and positioners in the crib with them, but those deaths are not reported to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because the product has been considered “normal” in the babies crib environment.

Despite the warnings, many parents continue to use these dangerous comforts.  Many parents equate “softness” with “comfort” and inadvertently put their babies at risk.

See Video


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!

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