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Consumer Reports: All inclined sleepers put infants at serious risk and must be recalled

CPSC should secure recalls, set strong infant sleep rules to prevent future tragedies, says CR

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Consumer Reports today called on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to aggressively seek recalls of all infant inclined sleep products, after they have been linked to at least 73 infant deaths and a rigorous study found them unsafe for infant sleep. In a letter sent today to the five-member group leading the safety agency, CR also urged commissioners to prevent future tragedies by voting to move forward on a strong set of infant sleep rules proposed by CPSC staff.

“Countless infants remain at risk of dying in an inclined sleeper. The CPSC should use every tool it has to help get all inclined sleepers off the market and out of homes as quickly as possible,” said William Wallace, manager of home and safety policy for Consumer Reports.

The study—commissioned by the CPSC and led by Erin M. Mannen, Ph.D., of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences—analyzed inclined sleeper incident data, evaluated product design, and examined how infants move and use their muscles on flat and inclined surfaces to understand the impact of inclined sleepers on safety, including the risk of suffocation. Researchers concluded that none of the inclined sleep products that were tested and evaluated as a part of the study are safe for infant sleep.

Consumer Reports first reported in April that there were dozens of infant deaths associated with inclined sleepers. Since that time, manufacturers have recalled more than five million of the products, Congress has advanced a CR-endorsed bill to prohibit them, and the CPSC has learned that the number of infant deaths linked to these products is at least 73. Despite these developments, numerous dangerous inclined sleep products remain for sale and in homes.

“Right now, there’s nothing stopping manufacturers from continuing to sell inherently dangerous inclined sleepers or other sleep products that put infants at risk. CR strongly supports the CPSC staff proposal, because it would ensure that all current and future infant sleep products align with safe sleep principles. Every CPSC commissioner should vote to move it forward,” said Oriene Shin, policy counsel for home and product safety at Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports urges anyone with an inclined sleep product or accessory to immediately stop using it. American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep recommendations say that babies should be placed alone to bed on a firm, flat surface in their own space, with no extra bedding. All infant inclined sleep products and accessories conflict with that advice.


Contact: David Butler, dbutler@consumer.org, 202-462-6262

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.