Stop putting babies in inclined sleepers, agency warns parents; 73 deaths reported since 2005

Agency warns against putting babies in inclined sleepers; 73 deaths reported since 2005

WASHINGTON — It's time to put away the Rock 'n Play, a federal agency said last week.

In a new warning issued Thursday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommended that parents stop putting their babies in inclined sleepers after new research found that the products pose safety hazards. The latest study, led by Dr. Erin Mannen, a mechanical engineer with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, examined "several inclined sleep products" and determined that none of those tested were safe for sleeping babies.

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"The study is part of a growing body of evidence showing that inclined sleepers with higher angles do not provide a safe sleep environment for infants," the CPSC said, adding that many of the items, including Fisher-Price's Rock 'n Play and Kids II's Rocking Sleeper, have sparked recalls.

Since 2005, at least 73 babies have died in incidents related to inclined sleepers, according to the agency.

CPSC officials are now cautioning parents against using "infant sleep products with inclined seat back of more than 10 degrees."

"The agency continues to emphasize that the best place for a baby to sleep is on a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard," the CPSC said. "Parents and caregivers should never add blankets, pillows or other items to an infant's sleeping environment. Babies should always be placed to sleep on their backs."

The agency also said parents "should not use infant car seats, bouncers and other infant inclined products for sleep, and should follow manufacturer instructions."