March 15, 2000Each Year 900 SIDS Deaths May be
Caused by Soft Bedding
Retailers Join CPSC
in Promoting Safe Bedding Practices for Babies
Washington, DC (SafetyAlerts) - To prevent deaths from
soft bedding, seven major retailers are joining the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) in kicking off a safety campaign promoting safe bedding practices for
babies. As many as 900 baby deaths each year attributed to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
(SIDS) may actually be caused by suffocation in soft bedding, such as quilts, comforters,
pillows and sheepskins.
Babies "R" Us, IKEA, JCPenney, Kmart, Lands' End, Sears and Target, which
account for the majority of baby bedding sales, are making changes to crib displays in
retail stores, catalogs, advertisements and websites. Beginning this Spring, shoppers will
no longer see cribs made up with pillows, quilts and comforters. Many retailers will be
including cautionary statements about the use of soft bedding for younger babies in their
catalogs, on signs attached to cribs, and on inserts that accompany baby comforters and
quilts. When babies are featured in crib ads, they always will be pictured sleeping on
their backs. Other retailers are going to create bedding safety brochures for customers
and add quilt racks to their nursery product lines.
Since 1994, CPSC has warned about the danger of soft bedding to babies under 12 months.
But when consumers went to stores or browsed through catalogs, they often got a different
message. Cribs made up with comforters, quilts and pillows may have encouraged parents to
use these items in the crib with an infant. Parents unaware of the warnings, would not
know that these items could be deadly for young babies.
"Parents and caregivers will no longer get a mixed message on how to create a safe
sleeping environment for their baby," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Whether
browsing through a catalog or floor display, cribs will now display a safe way to put baby
For babies under 12 months, CPSC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development recommend the following to help reduce the
risk of SIDS:
- Place baby on his/her back on a firm, tight-fitting
mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards.
- Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins,
pillow-like stuffed toys and other pillow-like soft products from the crib.
- Consider using a sleeper as an alternative to
blankets with no other covering.
- If using a blanket, put baby with his or her feet
at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, only as far as the
- Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered during
- Do not place baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft
mattress, pillow or other soft surface to sleep.
CPSC has worked with manufacturers to get warning
labels on infant pillows, and is now working for a similar warning on baby quilts and
Safety Alerts compiles
comprehensive safety recall information for the United States. SafeMail is a free email
service to warn consumers of faulty products and contaminated foods. For complete
information regarding current recalls, past recalls and timely product warning
notification visit: www.safetyalerts.com.