The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating infant deaths that may be associated with nursing pillows and “lounging pads,” and warning parents and caregivers that pillow-like infant products are not designed for sleep and are not safe for sleep.

An initial analysis of incident data of infant pillows reveals that the deaths occurred when babies were left on or near pillows, and they rolled over, rolled off or fell asleep on them. CPSC is investigating the entire class of products and is not currently warning about a particular brand of infant pillow at this time, but rather all infant pillow products.

Each year, nearly 1,000 babies tragically suffocate to death in their sleep. The safety of infant products have long been a concern for CPSC, and the agency has often warned of death risks with products including cribs, inclined sleepers, and pillows. CPSC is using this new information to remind parents and caregivers infants’ sleeping environments should be free of blankets, pillows, padded bumpers, or other items. And babies should always be put to sleep on their backs on a firm surface. Furthermore, the agency warned, infants should not be put to sleep in infant car seats, bouncers, or other infant inclined products.

What Parents and Caregivers Should Remember

The CPSC provides the following guidance for parents and caregivers when caring for an infant:

  • Do not allow infants to sleep on nursing pillows or other pillow-like products.
  • Do not use infant sleep products with inclined seat backs of more than 10 degrees.
  • Parents and caregivers should not use infant car seats, bouncers, and other infant inclined products for sleep, and should follow manufacturer instructions.
  • Follow safe sleep advice. Bare is Best: Do not add blankets, pillows, padded bumpers, or other items to the baby’s sleep environment.
  • Back to Sleep: Always place infants to sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface.

Each year, there are about 3,500 sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) in the United States involving infants younger than 1 year old with no immediately obvious cause. One quarter (about 800) of the SUIDs in 2018 involved accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (ASSB), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Products Liability Attorney

Currently, Beasley Allen attorney Demet Basar is sole lead counsel in In re: Rock ‘n Play Sleeper Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, a multidistrict litigation (MDL) against Fisher-Price and its parent, Mattel, in which she represents 4.7 million parents and caregivers. The MDL arises from the marketing and sale of Fisher-Price’s inclined Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, the use of which has resulted in numerous infant deaths and injuries.


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