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CPSC Cautions Caregivers about Hidden Hazards for Babies on Adult Beds

Reports of more than 100 deaths from 1999-2001

Just as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has alerted parents and caregivers to the hazards of soft bedding in cribs, it is now alerting them to the hidden hazards associated with placing infants on adult beds. The CPSC has reports of more than 100 deaths of children under age 2, most from suffocation, associated with features of adult beds. These deaths occurred from January 1, 1999 to December 31, 2001 and involve an entrapment, a fall, or a situation in which bedding or the position of the child was related to the death. Nearly all of the children, 98%, were babies under 1 year old.

Many parents and caregivers are unaware that there are hidden hazards when placing babies on adult beds. Consumers often think that if an adult bed is pushed against a wall, or pillows are placed along the sides of the bed, small babies will be safe as they sleep. However, CPSC data shows hidden hazards for babies on adult beds.

Safety Tips

  • Wherever your baby sleeps should be as safe as possible. Babies placed on adult beds risk suffocation from several hidden hazards such as:
    • Entrapment between the bed and wall, or between the bed and another object,
    • Entrapment involving the bed frame, headboard or footboard,
    • Falls from adult beds onto piles of clothing, plastic bags, or other soft materials resulting in suffocation, and
    • Suffocation in soft bedding (such as pillows or thick quilts and comforters).
  • Always place the baby to sleep on his or her back, not on its stomach.
  • When using a crib, make sure it meets current safety standards, has a firm, tight-fitting mattress and tight-fitting bottom sheet.
  • When using a portable crib or playpen, be sure to use only the mattress or pad provided by the manufacturer.

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