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Infant Sleep Positioning Devices May Pose Risk of Injury

When we purchase products to help keep our children safe, we rightfully expect them to work as intended and not pose additional risks. This holds true for car seats, toys, baby food, cribs, or any other consumer goods that we may buy for our children. Since it has come to light that sleeping on the stomach (prone) is a high risk factor for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), many new products have come to market that purport to encourage children to sleep on their backs. These products are new and untested, and may have the potential to cause injury.

There are two main types of sleep positioning devices being marketed currently:      

  • Products designed to restrain infants while they sleep, developed in response to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendation that infants sleep in a supine position. There is no data currently available to determine the effectiveness of these products in reducing the risk of SIDS.
  • Products that are wedges or an incline mat, designed to relieve colic or acid reflux. Some of these products also use restraints, and are more likely to be recommended by physicians.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that it is aware of 10 fatalities associated with the use of these products between January 1st, 1997 and August 20th, 2009. The agency also reports the following concerns regarding the use of these products:

  • There is no data available to indicate that any of these products reduce the risk of SIDS. The CPSC officially recommends against the use of these products, and the AAP recommends using them only with a physician’s advice.
  • Data indicates that although these products are designed to facilitate infants sleeping in a prone position, caregivers may still place infants in them on their stomach, sometimes producing fatal results.
  • Children placed in these products on their side are likely to flip into a prone position, increasing the risk of a fatal outcome.
  • Although it is unlikely that a parent or caregiver would intentionally misuse these products, the practice of placing infants in these devices continues and creates additional risk.

Contact a Coweta County personal injury attorney for a free consultation

If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Injuries that arise from poorly designed products can cause medical expenses, loss of wages, disability, or may even be fatal. These types of injuries may give you the legal right to sue the person or party responsible for these injuries in a personal injury, product liability, wrongful death, or other action. In order to determine whether you have a claim, you should contact an experienced Coweta County personal injury attorney as soon as possible to have your case evaluated. These types of actions are subject to a strict statute of limitations, which means that you have a limited amount of time in which you can file a claim. To schedule a consultation with one of our Coweta County personal injury attorneys, contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith today at (770) 487-8999.


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia