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.”
Children’s Health Policy Update: Fall 2019
As 2019 draws to a close, we’re sharing an update on policies and public programs that impact children’s health outcomes. We’ve included breastfeeding legislation passed over the summer, important legislation to watch in the coming months, and insights on vital public programs and funding needs for fiscal year 2020.
National Action Teams Promote Safe Sleep and Breastfeeding Across the Country
Over the past decade, improvements in sleep-related infant deaths have stagnated. Now, four national action teams are working together to drive measurable change in four priority areas: Aligning National, State and Local Efforts; Promoting Conversation Modules; Supporting Early Child Care and Education; and Public Media and Media Relations.
Breastfeeding Takes a Village and, Too Often, Black Women Don’t Have One
Breastfeeding peer support networks run for and by Black women fill a gap in breastfeeding support for Black women—a gap largely created by historic and systemic inequities. Here, Khadija Garrison Adams, co-founder of Black Lactation Circle (BLaC) of Central Ohio, shares how their community is empowering black pregnant and nursing mothers to meet their breastfeeding goals.
Ohio’s Multi-Pronged Approach to Addressing the Opioid Crisis
The Ohio Perinatal Quality Collaborative is testing innovative strategies for improving outcomes for the thousands of families affected by the opioid crisis. Here, they share their approach, including standardizing identification and treatment for opioid exposed infants in NICUs, encouraging compassionate responses from providers, and ensuring comprehensive, coordinated maternity care.
Eliminating Sleep-Related Infant Deaths Starts by Identifying What Causes Them
Understanding what causes infant deaths gives states and communities the information they need to identify focused, effective solutions. This makes infant mortality data—data that reveals the causes and contributors to death and system barriers—irreplaceable assets for any infant health improvement effort. And that makes the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention (National CFRP) an essential partner.
It’s Past Time to Prevent SIDS and Sleep-Related Infant Deaths
In the U.S., Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), suffocation and other sleep-related causes claim approximately 3,600 babies every year. That number translates to nearly 165 unfilled kindergarten classrooms. Doing better by American families starts by identifying what’s working and outlining opportunities for improvement. Here, NICHQ Faculty Expert Michael Goodstein, MD, a neonatologist and international safe sleep expert, discusses what priorities should shape improvement efforts in the years to come.