Unsafe Sleep Locations
Infant Seats, Sleepers, Swings, Hammocks
These products are not safe for sleeping because they allow your baby to sleep on an incline. An incline could cause a baby’s head to slump and his or her airway could be pinched. A baby’s airway is only about the size of a drinking straw! Also, a baby can more easily roll over when sleeping on an incline even if he or she hasn’t done so before. Rolling over in an inclined seat can cause a baby to suffocate. The straps can also become a strangulation hazard. Many inclined sleepers and nappers have been recalled.
In the car, a car seat is required for the safety of your baby in the event of a car accident. While your baby is at the same risk sleeping in a car seat while in the car as they are sleeping in any other inclined position, the benefit of the car safety outweighs the sleep-related death due to sleeping in the car seat. When traveling with infants, it is recommended that parents take frequent breaks and limit the number of continuous hours in the car.
Positioners are designed to keep a baby in a certain position while sleeping. The most common types of sleep positioners have pads attached to each side of a thin mat or wedges that elevate the baby’s head. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates baby products as medical devices if the manufacturer claims that the product will treat or prevent a disease or condition. Some manufacturers advertise that sleep positioners prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), reflux, or flat head syndrome. However, the FDA has never approved a sleep positioner that prevents SIDS and has asked manufacturers to stop marketing positioners used for reflux or flat head syndrome.
Moses baskets often have padded sides and the mattress is not always firm – these can be potential suffocation hazards. Setting the basket on an elevated or unsteady surface (such as on a table, couch or bed) presents a fall hazard. In addition, if placed on an adult bed with a sleeping adult, a blanket from the adult bed could get into the sleep space or the adult in bed could roll or place an arm or leg onto the baby. It can also be dangerous if the basket is set on the floor. Items can fall into the basket, injuring or covering the baby; young siblings and pets could have easy access inside the basket; and unintentional injury can occur if an adult would accidentally trip over or step into the basket.