Nothing In The Crib But The Baby

Infant suffocation can occur with use of infant sleep positioners

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) Accidental suffocation is the number one cause of death among US children under 1 year old. One cause of suffocation is the use of infant sleep positioners in the crib.

Infant sleep positioners were responsible for many deaths of young babies in the past 13 years, reported the CDC.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report reminds parents that nothing should be placed in a crib with a baby. This includes pillows, blankets, infant sleep positioners, stuffed animals or any other object.

"Put nothing in the crib with your baby."

The report, led by Brenda Lawrence, MD, looked at 13 cases from 1997 to 2011 that were related to babies suffocating while placed with an infant sleep positioner in their crib.

The babies ranged in age from 21 days old to 4 months old. They were all found laying on their stomach even though most had been put to bed on their side. However, several of the babies had underlying conditions. Four had been born premature, and four had been diagnosed recently with a respiratory illness.

In all of the cases, the babies suffocated from being placed in an infant sleep positioner.

Three of the families reported they had used the positioner to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), and three others reported using the positioners to help prevent the baby from rolling over. Others said they used the positioners to prevent reflux, elevate the baby's head or prevent the baby from getting a flat spot on their head.

Unfortunately, infant sleep positioners are often marketed to say they will help prevent SIDS or help keep a baby positioned on their side.

But the Food and Drug Administration has previously issued warnings about use of infant sleep positioners. No items should be placed with a baby in a crib. Cribs should be clear of blankets, pillows, positioners, stuffed animals, sheets or any other objects.

The report was published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for November 23, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
November 22, 2012
Last Updated:
November 26, 2012