The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumers Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have released two very important warnings to parents recently: (1) secure all furnishings to prevent tipping and (2) avoid using sleep positioners. Both of these warnings should be taken very seriously.
In 2006, an astonishing 16,000 children under the age of 5 were treated in emergency rooms from tip-over related injuries. A study conducted from 1990-2007 showed more than 264,000 children injured due to furniture-related tip-over. These numbers are very concerning. Severe injuries and possibly death can occur. The most common injury reported was skull fractures.
Parents are urged to anchor furniture, TVs and appliances to the floor or wall. If television is on a stand, be sure the stand is sturdy and push the TV as far back as possible. Keep enticing items (such as remotes, pictures, DVDs, books, etc) out of reach on TV stands, book shelves, dressers, etc. Curious hands will climb furnishings to reach the desired object and this is when disaster can occur. And lastly, keep all electrical cords hidden. Even though kids are small, they can still pull on items and cause serious injury. For more information on keeping your baby safe in your home, read our article Baby Safety in the Home.
Sleep positioners are another hazard that has made headlines. Sleep positioners utilize side wedges and are used to keep a baby in a desired position. Some even incline. Ironically, manufacturers of sleep positioners market these products as a means to reduce the risk of SIDS. Unfortunately, sleep positioners are a suffocation hazard and can INCREASE the risk of SIDS (clearly the opposite of the marketed use). Sleep positioners have also been marketed as a device to reduce gastroesophageal reflux (GER). FDA pediatric expert Susan Cummins states, “At this time, there is no scientifically sound evidence to support the medical claims being made by the manufacturers of these infant sleep positioners.” To learn more about SIDS and how to reduce your baby’s risk, refer to our article Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Be sure to share this information with anyone caring for your child.
Accidents can occur in a blink of an eye. Heed these warnings and take precautions to protect your little one from serious injury.
Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST