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Parents urged not to let infants sleep with nursing pillows, lounging pads

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning parents of the dangers these items can pose.
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/ Source: TODAY

Sleeping with a nursing pillow or a lounging pad could spell danger for infants, according to a new report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

On Wednesday, the consumer agency warned parents that "pillow-like infant products, including nursing pillows and 'lounging pads,' are not designed for sleep and are not safe for sleep."

CPSC also announced that the agency is investigating infant deaths that might be related to the use of pillow-like products.

"The initial assessment of incidents shows deaths when children are left on or near pillows, and the child rolls over, rolls off, or falls asleep. CPSC is investigating the entire class of products," the statement reads.

The CPSC didn't name any specific brands in its announcement but said it is in the process of analyzing incident data in an effort to provide "more clarity to the public on any risks associated with these products."

The agency noted that almost 1,000 infants suffocate in their sleep every year and advised parents that "Bare is Best for an infant's sleeping environment."

"Do not add blankets, pillows, padded bumpers, or other items to the baby’s sleep environment," the agency wrote.

Sleep safety is always a hot topics for parents, and the safety of other infant essentials like car seats and swings have recently been questioned.

James Hahn, a pediatrician at St. Elizabeth Physicians in Greendale, Indiana, recently told TODAY Parents that he warns patients to proceed with caution when it comes to infants sleeping in swings.

“They can slump over in the seated position which could cause suffocation,” he said. “This is especially true in swings that have an upright, rather than reclined position.”

Dr. Jane Sneed, a pediatrician at The Children’s Clinic of St. Bernards Healthcare in Jonesboro, Arkansas, also told TODAY that babies should only sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface.

“The absence of a firm, flat surface places a baby at a higher risk for sudden infant death syndrome,” she said.

In 2019, one father warned other parents about infants sleeping in car seats after his son died died of positional asphyxia when his airway was cut off after his chin fell to his chest.

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