May 16, 2022, was a historic day for parents who tragically lost their children to dangerous products. It was the day that Congress signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act into law. Effective Nov. 12, 2022, this law makes it illegal for manufacturers to create, promote, distribute, import, or sell inclined baby sleeper products or crib bumpers.
Johnson//Becker partner, Michael Johnson, says that it was one of the greatest honors of his career to watch the amazing work, performed with extreme perseverance and dedication, of some of his clients who lost their babies in inclined sleepers educate and lobby Congress in their ultimately successful effort to pass the Safe Sleep for Babies Act.
Mr. Johnson notes that their courage and hard work will help the legal system crack down on companies selling dangerous baby products and save the lives of countless infants in the future.
Infant sleep products apply to all products manufactured and marketed for infants up to five months of age. These kinds of products include inclined sleepers, in-bed sleepers, baby boxes, compact/travel bassinets, and infant travel tents. In short, any product that does not already follow the CPSC’s standards for infant sleep.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act applies to inclined sleepers and crib bumpers, which research studies and incident reports have shown to be dangerous for infants.
According to the CPSC, an average of 100 infant deaths occur annually due to unsafe sleep environments.
Inclined sleepers are sleep surfaces set at an angle greater than 10 degrees. These products are intended for infants up to one year of age.
Inclined sleepers are hazardous to infants because if a child rolls over, they may suffocate since they cannot lift their heads. Because of this risk, the CPSC urges consumers to place their babies on a flat surface for sleep.
Crib bumpers apply to any material intended to cover the sides of a crib, protecting the infant from getting their limbs trapped in any openings. Anything that is padded or has vertical crib slat covers is also included as an illegal product. However, this excludes non-padded mesh crib liners.
The hazard with crib bumpers is the higher risk of suffocation for infants. Babies should sleep in a place with very little objects or blankets. Anything that could easily block an infant’s nose, mouth, or throat can cause them to choke.
The CPSC has issued new standards within the past few years to protect infants. Some baby products, later recalled, pose hazards related to falling, suffocation and/or asphyxiation, blocking the nose and mouth, and inclined sleep surfaces.
How can I keep my baby safe while sleeping?
According to the CPSC, to help keep a baby’s sleep space safe:
- Back to Sleep: Always place the baby to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUID/SIDS) and suffocation.
- Bare is Best: Always keep the baby’s sleep space bare (fitted sheet only) to prevent suffocation. Do not use pillows, padded crib bumpers, quilts or comforters.
- Transfer the baby to a firm, flat crib, bassinet, play yard or bedside sleeper if they fall asleep in a swing, bouncer, lounger or similar product.
- Inclined products, such as rockers, gliders, soothers and swings should never be used for infant sleep, and infants should not be left in these products unsupervised, unrestrained, or with soft bedding material, due to the risk of suffocation.
Questions About a Baby Product Lawsuit? Contact a Johnson//Becker Lawyer for a Free Case Review.
If you or a loved one tragically lost a child due to a recalled baby product, you are not alone. The lawyers at Johnson//Becker are available to speak with you and share our experience representing families who have lost an infant to an unsafe baby product.
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