Products that Cause Infant Deaths Should Be Recalled
The Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper has been tied to 32 sleep-related infant deaths, according to a statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urging Fisher-Price to recall the product. Fisher-Price issued a warning about Rock ‘n Play Sleepers on April 5, but they still line store aisles, are available for order on websites, and are holding sleeping infants in homes across the country.
While overall infant mortality rates in the U.S. have declined in recent years, sleep-related infant deaths, including accidental suffocation and strangulation, have risen. Removing products, like the Rock ‘n Play Sleeper, that are tied to sleep-related infant deaths can help remove one risk factor for infants and make things easier for families.
“When you bring home your new baby, you’re trying to remember all the advice you were given—not just about safe sleep, but about how to feed your baby and keep your baby healthy,” says NICHQ Chief Health Officer Elizabeth Coté, MD, MPA. “Having unsafe products on the market makes it harder for families who are already juggling so much, and a warning isn’t enough. Not when there is any potential of death.”
Reducing these dangers for families means holding infant sleep products to the highest standard, says NICHQ President and CEO, Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP. “Every year, we lose thousands of babies to preventable deaths, and that means we need to do more to help families understand and follow safe sleep practices—that includes protecting them from purchasing products that could cause harm. We should all be working to make things easier for families, not more confusing. As a national children’s health organization, we stand behind the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.”
NICHQ currently leads multiple initiatives seeking to reduce sleep-related infant deaths, including the Safe Sleep Infant Mortality Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network and the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep Improvement and Innovation Network (NAPPSS-IIN). These initiatives both illustrate the critical importance of providing families with consistent messaging and education about safe sleep practices and products—whether by modeling safe sleep in hospitals or raising awareness about safe sleep practices through city-wide campaigns and targeted community outreach.
“As a leader in the effort to promote safe sleep as a national norm, NAPPSS-IIN members are speaking out in support of an immediate recall of the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play and other inclined sleepers that do not meet the AAP standards for a safe sleep environment,” says Michael Goodstein, MD, a neonatologist and faculty expert for NAPPSS-IIN. “Before another infant can be harmed, we are urging the breastfeeding and safe sleep communities to spread the word about the danger of unsafe products.”
Health Professionals Need to Talk to Families About Swaddling
Swaddling babies snuggly in a blanket mimics the confines of the womb and can comfort babies and promote sleep. However, when families don’t swaddle properly it has the potential to become risky and result in injury and possible death. By improving conversations with caregivers, health professionals can help reduce risks and support tired parents. Here, find four points to cover in your conversations.
It Takes a Community to Save Babies
By partnering with community programs and organizations, public health initiatives can give families opportunities to learn about safe sleep from trusted members of their community who share their lived experience. Here, find six strategies for engaging community partners, maintaining that partnership, and collaborating to raise awareness.
Fathers: Powerful Allies for Maternal and Child Health
Supporting father engagement and involvement is a critical opportunity to improve children’s health outcomes in the decades to come, says NICHQ President and CEO Scott D. Berns. Here, he describes three strategies for supporting fathers as powerful allies in maternal and child health outcomes.
Improving Maternal and Child Health in the Face of the Opioid Epidemic
High rates of opioid use among pregnant women reflect an ongoing national epidemic. Here, two experts share why improving both short and long-term health outcomes starts by recognizing that this is a treatable chronic disease and providing comprehensive care for the mother-baby dyad.
Spreading Safe Sleep Messages Across Tennessee
The Tennessee Department of Health is implementing a multifaceted approach to teach families about safe sleep so all families can learn about safe sleep practices and more babies can sleep safely.
Children’s Social and Emotional Development Starts with Co-Regulation
Before children learn how to make a friend or resolve a conflict, they first need to develop the capacity to self-regulate their emotions. This is a critical skill to support social and emotional development. Here, Gerard Costa, PhD, the founding director of the Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health at Montclair State University, explains why pediatric health professionals need to engage families in conversations about self-regulation, and he offers a resource for inspiring those conversations.