6 On Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Dangers of Weighted Baby Products
(ABC 6 News) – A warning for any parent or caregiver: Stop using weighted sleep products for babies!
Weighted blankets are a popular trend for adults, but the American Academy of Pediatrics strongly warns that weighted baby blankets, swaddles, and sleep sacks are not safe and not recommended for babies.
“One of the risks is suffocation. Babies can get trapped under the weight of the blanket and not be able to breathe or get enough air,” says Dr. Wanda Abreu with Columbia Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.
A baby’s body is also inherently different from an adults’, and putting any weight on its chest is problematic.
“The weight on their chest, ribcage and abdomen can limit the ability for them to move the muscles required for breathing and this can lead to asphyxiation,” says Dr. Abreu.
Two main manufacturers of weighted sleep products for babies—Nested Bean and Dreamland Baby— both told Consumer Reports that a lack of reported injuries related to their increasingly popular products shows that they are safe.
But the Consumer Product Safety Commission has said that there is at least one infant death involving a weighted product.
“Parents will be even more trusting of products they see for sale if they have a label that says this meets industry standards, maybe not realizing that those standards are largely written by the companies that are making and selling those products,” says Consumer Reports’ Lauren Kirchner.
Leaving new parents, like Linda Ramirez, who are looking for anything to help their infants sleep, in the dark.
“It’s so scary that they’re marketed as safe when doctors are against it,” says Ramirez.
Doctors recommend that babies should only sleep alone, on their back, on a firm flat surface, and with nothing else around them.
The Safe Sleep for Babies Act banned both inclined sleepers and crib bumper pads last year.
A Consumer Reports investigation prompted this legislation after it found dozens of deaths tied to infant inclined sleepers.
This law does not apply to baby sleep attire, like swaddles or sleep sacks.