An early June ruling from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission approved new federal safety requirements for products for babies under five months old. As a result, all products sold will be required to meet new standards by mid-2022. The goal is to provide a safe sleeping environment for infants and eliminate hazardous products.
In the June press release, CPSC Acting Chairman Robert Adler said, “What we’ve done today fulfills the most sacred of our obligations as Commissioners—to take steps to protect vulnerable consumers, including babies. Today’s vote ensures that when a product is intended or marketed for sleep, it will indeed be safe for an infant to sleep.”
Before this, there weren’t any federal regulations for infant sleep products. In fact, just this month, Fisher-Price just recalled thousands of baby soothers after four infant deaths. Here’s what the new safety regulations mean for your baby.
Key points to know:
- Manufacturers must meet new standards by mid-2020.
- Any product that did not meet the existing sleep standard has to be tested to prove that the sleep surface is 10 degrees or less.
- These regulations do not extend to products expressly not intended for infants –– meaning swings and car seats for toddlers.
- The responsibility is now on manufacturers to assist and educate parents who chose to bed share with their children. The CDC and CPSC continue to warn people of the dangers of bed-sharing or co-sleeping.
Inclined Sleepers Are No More
The class of goods commonly referred to as “inclined sleep products” has been recalled several times through the years. Between January 2019 and December 2020, there were 245 incidents resulting in 21 fatalities because of baby inclined sleep products. This June ruling aims to ensure dangerously inclined sleepers are no longer available for people to buy.
Products included in the release:
- Inclined sleepers
- Travel bassinets
- In-bed sleepers
The hazards inclined sleepers present are design-related issues that allow the infant to roll over and suffocate on soft surfaces, the development of respiratory issues or physical deformations as a result of regular use. While most products under this ruling have been recalled, there are still similar products available for purchase.
Crib Safety and Best Practices
We want to be very clear about some things here: we are not here to tell any parent who has used any of these products in the past that they are wrong. The fact is, the majority of people didn’t know the hazards of these products. When you’re walking down the aisles packed with baby essentials, you assume these products are safe. Or else they wouldn’t be sold. There is a level of trust that manufacturers haven’t been holding true to –– now they have to.
New regulations or not, there are some best practices everyone should follow to ensure their baby sleeps safely. Here are some crib safety tips straight from the CPSC.
- Never put pillows or thick blankets in your baby’s crib. Those type of products in their bed increases the risk of suffocation. Always remember, bare beds are better and safer.
- The gap between the side of the crib and the mattress should be no larger than two inches.
- You should avoid using a crib that is older than ten years or is broken as a rule. Broken slats or gaps in the crib can lead to serious injury.
- Everything in your baby’s room should be put together per the instructions.
- Your baby’s crib should never be placed next to a window near blinds –– babies can get hurt with cords of any type.
Too Long, Didn’t Read?
Future federal safety regulations are most likely coming –– so expect updates from us when they break. The commission stated they would consider reviewing standards for crib bumpers and mattresses in the coming months. Ultimately, all of this comes down to making smart choices for infant products. If all else fails, just remember that the safest way a baby can sleep is flat.