Infant sleep positioners associated with sleep-related deaths

An Infant Sleep Positioner, photo courtesy CPSC

Infant sleep postitioners are associated with slee-related deaths, according to a the November 23, 2012 edition of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ISPs are commercial products designed to keep a baby in specific position while he or she sleeps. They are marketed as protecting against sleep-related deaths and managing certain medical conditions, like gastroesophageal reflux or plagiocephaly.

The Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the CDC reviewed information on 13 infant deaths from 1997-2011 that were reported to the CPSC and were associated with ISPs. Among the 13 cases, the ages ranged from 21 days to four months, and many of the babies were placed on their side.

In 2012, the CPSC and the FDA launched a joint effort to promote back to sleep and encourage families to discontinue the use of unapproved ISPs. The AAP’s  2011 updated policy statement on safe sleep advises avoiding devices like ISPs.

 The report recommends public health practitioners and health care professionals continue to provider a clear and consistent safe sleep message with frequent reinforcement.