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Hidden Hazards for Babies on Adult Beds

Just as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has alerted parents to the hazards of soft bedding in cribs, it is now alerting them to the hidden hazards associated with placing infants on adult beds.

Parents often think that if they push a big bed up against the wall – or put pillows along the sides of the bed – their babies will be safe as they sleep. But nothing is further from the truth. There are many hidden hazards of placing babies on adult beds.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 100 children under the age of two died after being placed on adult beds during the years 1999-2001. Almost all were children under the age of one, and more than half were infants three months or younger.

Babies placed on adult beds risk suffocation from:

  • becoming trapped between the bed and wall, headboards, footboards, or bed frames;
  • soft bedding, such as pillows, thick quilts, or comforters; and
  • falling from adult beds into hazardous situations such as onto piles of clothing, plastic bags, or other soft materials.

Additional safety tips for parents:

  • Wherever your baby sleeps should be as safe as possible.
  • Know the hidden hazards of adult beds for infants so you can protect against them.
  • When using a crib, make sure it meets current safety standards. It should have a firm, tight-fitting mattress and a tight-fitting bottom sheet.
  • When using a portable crib or playpen, be sure to use only the mattress or pad provided by the manufacturer.
  • For babies under a year of age, don't place them on soft bedding such as pillows, thick quilts, and comforters.
  • Always put babies to sleep on their back, not their stomachs.

You can find more information about the hazards of babies sleeping in adult beds on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site.

[Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission]

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