New parents are in constant struggle to do the best for their babies. Lacking confidence and experience, they would try just about anything to make sure that their babies are safe and healthy. One particular worry is sudden infant death syndrome, which takes thousands of babies every year for no discernible reason. So, when the manufacturers came up with a device called ‘baby positioner’, which promises to prevent a range of potential problems, it looked like a great solution. Unfortunately, in the last 13 years, that “solution” cost 12 babies their lives. In the recent statement, The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, supported by the Food and Drug Administration, warned parents in their recent statement that baby sleep positioners are dangerous.
What is the purpose of baby sleep positioners?
Sleep positioner is a padded mat with bolsters on the side. There is also a version with an incline, which keeps babies slightly upright during sleep. Positioner is intended to be used in a baby crib or bed to keep him on his side.
The manufacturers claim that the positioner can prevent a range of health problems in babies, such as acid reflux, flat head syndrome, or sudden infant death syndrome, by forcing a baby to stay in a certain position during sleep. Their claim is not supported by any research.
What went wrong?
The problem with positioners is that they do not stay in one place. When babies move or roll during sleep, they can get trapped between the positioner and the crib side, or in the corner of the positioner, and suffocate. The reports of deaths caused by suffocation in the sleep positioner show that they are particularly dangerous for babies between one and four months.
Most babies suffocated because they rolled from their side to stomach. Many other parents reported that they found their babies entangled in the positioner, although they were put to sleep on their backs.
The best way to prevent sudden infant death syndrome
Number of babies who died from sudden infant death syndrome dropped significantly since experts advised parents to place their babies on their back to sleep. It is not clear why, but in most cases, babies who died of sudden infant death syndrome were found on their stomachs.
The F.D.A. has originally approved the positioners and similar devices for the prevention of gastroesophageal reflux disease as well as flat head syndrome. But the positioner or other devices were never approved for the prevention of the sudden infant death syndrome. The new findings of the danger of suffocating changed the position of the FDA, which now believes that the danger of suffocation outweighs possible benefits.
Pediatricians advise parents to avoid any soft bedding in their infant”s cribs. Pillows, quilts, comforters, safety bumpers and even large plush toys can all pose a danger of suffocation. The only safe way for babies to sleep is on their back, in a clean, empty crib.
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