Best Ways to Lower the Chance of SIDS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) weighed in today about baby products that claim to protect babies from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome , or SIDS.

SIDS is every new parent’s worst fear—an unexplainable, mysterious disorder that causes the sudden death of children under age 1. Manufacturers have been trying to cash in on that fear by creating products marketed as being able to reduce the risk of SIDS. Now, the FDA has made an official statement about these types of products.

According to the FDA:

The best thing you can do to lower the chance of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is to place your baby on his or her back to sleep, with nothing else in the crib or bassinet.

As for infant positioners, mattresses, crib bedding, pillows, crib tents, and other products that manufacturers sell to prevent SIDS:

“These products are absolutely not necessary and they can be very dangerous,” says Susan Cummins, M.D., M.P.H., chief pediatric medical officer in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

At least one baby dies each year because of sleep positioners. These and other products can be hazardous if the infant slides down and is trapped by wedges designed to keep them on their backs. Other common crib accessories—blankets, quilts, soft toys, and bedding—can smother babies.

According to the FDA, keeping babies safe is as simple as A-B-C:

  • Alone in their own bed. Don’t keep the infant in your bed next to you and risk that the baby will be accidentally suffocated if you roll over.
  • Back to sleep—every sleep. “The safest way to put the baby to sleep is on his or her back every time,” says Cummins. “Do not put the baby on his side or on his stomach.” Since the national Back to Sleep campaign in 1994 urged parents to place babies on their backs, there has been a 60 percent reduction in SIDS, Cummins says.
  • Crib. The baby should always be placed in a crib or bassinet to sleep.

    Parents and caregivers can find more information about the risks of using over-the-counter baby products marketed with the claim that they can prevent SIDS here:  FDA baby products site

    Parents who had an infant die as the result of using these SIDS-preventing products may have a right to seeks compensation from the manufacturers. Our attorneys are available to answer your legal questions at 1-800-4-LAWMED. If you have questions, HensonFuerst has answers.

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