Kids Safety: Pillow and Suffocation Dangers
December 3, 2017
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is urging parents and caregivers to remember that their little ones face serious suffocation and SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) dangers in bed, and that they need to take various safety precautions with blankets, quilts and pillows.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental strangulation and suffocation in a crib or bed is the leading cause of death in infants. In 2015 alone, at least 900 children died in their cribs or beds. Overcrowding in the sleeping space, thick quilts and pillows are the cause of accidental suffocations in almost half of all the reports the CPSC receives of infant fatalities. Other common causes can be:
- Overlay: when a person accidentally rolls on top of an infant while asleep;
- Wedging and/or entrapment: when an infant gets stuck in between two objects, like a mattress and bed frame, wall, furniture, etc., and:
- Strangulation: such as when a child’s head gets stuck in between crib railings
There are multiple safety precautions that parents and caregivers need to take to ensure that their child is sleeping safely and to limit the risks of SIDS, suffocation and strangulation. SIDS is the sudden, unexplained death of a child less than one year of age and according to the CDC, 1,600 infants died from it in 2015. Although it isn’t 100% possible to guard against SIDS, there are things to do that lower the dangers.
A good rule of thumb for safe infant sleeping is following the general guideline that “Bare is Best” when it comes to cribs and bassinets. You can find more through the CPSC’s “Bare is Best” safety campaign here: https://www.cpsc.gov/safety-education/safety-guides/kids-and-babies-cribs/safe-sleepbare-best.
It is also critical that parents and caregivers follow infant sleep safety guidelines, like the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) updated recommendations. Some paramount safety tips from the academy are:
- Make sure you properly assemble the crib and follow ALL guidelines;
- Put the baby on his or her back on a firm sleeping surface like a bassinet or crib that is made with a tight-fitting sheet;
- Do not use soft bedding such as blankets, crib bumpers, soft toys and pillows;
- Maintain a bare crib;
- Don’t use cribs older than 10 years or that are broken or have been modified;
- Children should share a bedroom – but not sleeping surface – with parents for one year. If this is not possible, ensure a shared bedroom for at least the first 6 months, and:
- Do not expose children to tobacco smoke, drugs and alcohol
Sharing a bedroom can decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%. The academy also recommends that mothers try to breastfeed, since it also lowers risks. Regardless of whether or not mothers are breastfeeding or using formula, falling asleep while feeding a baby on a cushioned chair or sofa can be extremely dangerous. To limit those hazards, the AAP recommends that sleepy parents feed their children on a bed – and that if they do fall asleep, to immediately place the child on his or her own sleeping surface upon waking.
Philadelphia Product Liability Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Children Injured by Unsafe Products
If your child sustained any injuries from an unsafe, mislabeled or defective product, please contact our Philadelphia product liability lawyers. Galfand Berger has offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, and we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.