News from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
March 15, 2000
Release # 00-078
WASHINGTON, D.C. - 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 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 to sleep."
For babies under 12 months, CPSC, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development recommend the following :