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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved tough new standards Wednesday to regulate several infant sleep products for the first time.The CPSC commissioners voted 3-1 in favor of mandatory safety regulations that will affect all products marketed as sleep products for babies up to five months of age. This includes inclined sleepers and in-bed sleepers.
These products put babies at risk when they’re inappropriately used and they have been connected to dozens of deaths, often from suffocation. This vote will help ensure these products meet the same safety standards as cribs and other items used by sleeping babies. This decision should keep dangerous products off store shelves and out of families’ homes.
Until now, only five types of infant sleep products legally had to adhere to safety standards: full-sized cribs, less-than-full-sized cribs, bassinets, bedside sleepers and play yards/playpens. Now, any product aimed at sleeping infants must comply with strict standards and pass third-party safety tests to guard before being sold. The CPSC says one in three families with infants owns products that would have been covered by this rule had it existed earlier.
In response, Teresa Murray, Consumer Watchdog with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, said:
“No parent should ever have to endure the tragedy of losing a child and this new rule will help prevent that in millions of homes. We’re grateful and relieved that the CPSC voted to regulate these potentially dangerous sleep products and do more to keep infants safe..
“We’re especially pleased that inclined sleepers, which position babies at an angle greater than 10 degrees, will now be subject to safety standards. Several brands of inclined sleepers have been recalled in years past. U.S. PIRG's Consumer Watchdog team in 2019 exposed the ongoing threat of inclined sleepers that were still in use in daycares in various states, even though the products had been recalled.
“This vote could have gone either way. While the CPSC is supposed to have five commissioners, one seat is currently vacant. A split 2-2 vote would have meant nothing would change to protect babies. To prevent this from being an issue in the near future, President Joe Biden needs to fill the vacant seat as quickly as possible.”
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