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Sign on letter supporting U.S. House’s Safe Sleep for Babies Act

As 47 national and state medical, public health, and consumer organizations dedicated to children’s health and safety, we write in support of the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, a bill to ban hazardous crib bumpers and infant inclined sleep products. We urge you to support this bill to protect children from injuries and deaths.

In their early stages of development, infants are uniquely vulnerable to sleep-related fatalities. Expert safe sleep recommendations have contributed to safer sleep environments for infants and fewer sleep-related fatalities. These safe sleep recommendations include placing babies on their back, and on a separate, flat, firm surface with no restraints, soft bedding, or other products. However, infants and families remain at risk due to the presence of dangerous infant sleep products that remain on the market.

The Safe Sleep for Babies Act would protect infants from sleep-related deaths by prohibiting the manufacture, sale, and distribution of padded crib bumpers and infant inclined sleep products. Crib bumpers are inconsistent with expert recommendations and have no place in a safe sleep environment. They have led to dozens of infant suffocation deaths and provide no meaningful safety benefit. The states of Maryland, Ohio, and New York, as well as several cities, have banned the manufacture and sale of crib bumpers. This bill would ban padded crib bumpers so that all infants in the United States are similarly protected.

Infant inclined sleep products are also inherently unsafe and incompatible with expert safe sleep recommendations. These products, such as the now-recalled Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, have been linked to the confirmed deaths of at least 93 infants. They present several risks, including positional asphyxia when the inclined sleep surface leads an infant to sleep in a position that restricts their airway, and suffocation when the products’ soft padding interferes with breathing or when infants roll onto their stomachs while in the products. The Safe Sleep for Babies Act would ban any product with an inclined sleep surface greater than ten degrees that is intended, marketed, or designed to provide sleeping accommodations for an infant up to 1 year old.

We urge you to support the Safe Sleep for Babies Act to help prevent more families from experiencing the tragedy of losing a child to crib bumper pads and infant inclined sleep products. This bill offers a vital opportunity to protect children from preventable sleep-related deaths and promote safer sleep environments. If you have further questions, please contact Lucas Allen with the American Academy of Pediatrics at lallen@aap.org. Thank you for your consideration.

For the full letter, click here.