Sometimes the best intentions can have the worst consequences.
Using infant sleep positioners is the perfect example.
These devices are marketed to parents to improve the quality of their babies' sleep, and as a way to prevent SIDS — Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
But none is FDA approved for preventing SIDS. Infant sleep positioners have been used to prevent gastro-esophageal reflux, the back flow of stomach acids into the esophagus, or food tube. They can also serve as a way to ward off flattened head, which occurs when babies spend lots of time on their backs.
Despite these benefits, a new report from the CDC warns these devices can be dangerous. The report cites 13 suffocation deaths in infants who used them. Nine of the babies had been put on their sides to sleep. One was placed on its back. The danger is from a baby’s moving around during sleep. Its face can become lodged against the sides of the positioner, which can interfere with breathing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended against using sleep positioners since 2005.