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The CPSC Will Create New Rules Affecting Infant Sleep Products

September 15, 2022

According to Consumer Reports, U.S. lawmakers have sent the Consumer Product Safety Commission a letter asking for clarity concerning new regulations for infant sleep products. In the past few years, there have been several reports of suffocation injuries and deaths connected to certain baby-inclined sleepers and rockers. The lawmakers state that infant-inclined products that are not marketed for infant sleep can still pose a risk should babies fall asleep while seated in the inclined sleepers and rockers.

The House Oversight Committee sent the Consumer Product Safety Commission a letter asking for the CPSC's newest proposed rule concerning infant sleep products. The letter also asks for clarity concerning how it intends to ban certain inclined infant products. 

Last May, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act was signed into law. The law bans all inclined sleepers and crib bumpers for infants. Those two baby products have been connected with over 200 infant deaths. The law came after the CPSC's final rule concerning infant sleep products. The Safe Sleep for Babies Act requires infant sleep products to meet specific safety standards. The new regulations were spurred by a Consumer Reports investigation into inclined sleepers, which were recalled in April 2019.

The CPSC, which is responsible for product safety in the United States, is responsible for enforcing this new federal law. Lawmakers asked the CPSC to explain if the ban applies to all inclined baby sleep products, even when the products are not marketed as sleep products, such as bathtubs, bouncers, and rockers. Safety experts worry that inclined products are not always marketed as sleep products, but infants could fall asleep in these products, and understanding how this rule affects the products with an incline of 10 degrees or more. 

The lawmaker's letter asked the CPSC to provide information on the number of deaths connected to products not marketed as "sleepers" but have an incline. The letter also asked how the new rule would apply to car seats and strollers, which have an incline and where babies fall asleep.

Parents of infants might also be confused about the new rules for infant sleep. Some parents and caregivers may not understand the risks associated with similarly inclined products. The issue becomes more complex because some baby products are called "lounging" or "soothing," contain "nature sounds," or have "nighttime" themes that may lull parents and caregivers into a false sense of security.

Consumer Report's Policy Advocates for Product Safety said that the CPSC needs to define "sleeping accommodations" products so parents or caregivers can reasonably understand the purpose of these products and understand if the baby must be attended/supervised. The advocates worry that all inclined products could lead parents to think anything made for infant sleep is unsafe and should be banned.

The CPSC urges parents and caregivers to remember that infants must always sleep on a flat, firm, non-inclined surface without pillows, blankets, toys, and crib bumpers in their sleeping space. The CPSC also reminds parents and caregivers that if infants fall asleep while sitting in an inclined product, they should be moved to a bassinet, play yard, or crib.

Legal Help for Parents Who Lost a Child Due to Inclined-Infant Sleepers

Was your child harmed by a recalled infant sleeper or rocker?  Protect your legal rights by calling Montlick Injury Attorneys Nationwide, 24/7, at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). Our Product Liability Lawyers are here to listen, understand your situation, and advise you. 

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