The CPSC’s Latest Report Reminds Parents That 'Bare Is Best'

The latest numbers from the Nursery Products report point to cluttered cribs as a leading cause of sleep-related infant deaths.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Assistant Editor
Updated September 21, 2022
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In recognition of Baby Safety Awareness Month, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reminds parents that “bare is best.” While cute, blankets, pillows and stuffed animals can pose serious safety risks to baby when left in the crib during nap time or overnight.

According to the CPSC’s latest data report:

  • On average, 100 infants die each year due to unsafe sleeping conditions, with cluttered sleep spaces cited as the cause of a majority of injuries and deaths.
  • 10,200 infant injuries related to cribs and mattresses were treated in emergency rooms in 2020.
  • Between 2016-2018, 87 deaths were associated with cribs, playpens, and bassinets or cradles —most of which had extra bedding, such as pillows and blankets.
  • Eight deaths were associated with inclined sleep products between 2016-2018.

The CPSC says these numbers can be reduced if parents will take extra care to adhere to safe sleep methods. “What is comfortable for the way adults sleep, isn’t safe for babies,” said CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric in a recent statement. “Bare is best—a firm, flat surface in a crib, bassinet or play yard, without blankets, pillows, or other items. If you are worried about your baby getting cold, use warm pajamas–not blankets.”

To keep baby’s sleep space safe, the CPSC recommends:

  • Back to Sleep: Always place the baby to sleep on their back to reduce the risk of sudden unexpected infant death syndrome (SUID/SIDS) and suffocation.
  • Bare is Best: Always keep the baby’s sleep space bare (fitted sheet only) to prevent suffocation. Do not use pillows, padded crib bumpers, quilts or comforters.
  • Firm and Flat Surfaces For Sleep: Transfer the baby to a firm, flat crib, bassinet, play yard or bedside sleeper if they fall asleep in a swing, bouncer, lounger or similar product.
  • Say No to Inclined Products for Sleep: Inclined products such as rockers, gliders, soothers and swings should never be used for infant sleep, and infants should not be left in these products unsupervised, unrestrained, or with soft bedding material due to the risk of suffocation.

For more information about safe sleep, including the latest updates from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CPSC, visit The Bump Safe Sleep page.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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