6 on Your Side: Consumer Confidence, Safe Sleep for Babies Act

(ABC 6 NEWS) – A new law passed last month banning two dangerous infant sleeping products brought long sought relief to many parents.

So, if you’re a parent, what can you expect from this?

"I’m grateful to our lawmakers for helping us protect babies when the manufacturers won’t," Sara Thompson, Alex’s Mom said.

Sara Thompson’s 15-week-old son Alexander died while in a Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper back in 2011.

The popular children’s product was on the market for a decade before it was finally recalled in 2019 after a Consumer Reports investigation revealed dozens of deaths tied to the Rock n’ Play and other infant inclined sleepers.

The reason: The design of the products–specifically their incline–makes them inherently dangerous for infant sleep.

And finally, last month, President Joe Biden signed into law the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which officially bans inclined sleepers and crib bumper pads, both of which are unsafe for infant sleep and together have been linked with close to 200 reported deaths.

"This legislation is an absolutely critical step to help parents and caregivers keep their babies out of unsafe sleep environments. – People should be able to trust that if infant sleep products are for sale, they’re safe," Oriene Shin, Consumer Reports Safety Advocate said.

Still, there are products marketed for sleep, not covered by the act, that also don’t conform to pediatricians’ recommendations for how babies should be put to bed – like infant hammocks and in-bed sleepers.

Later this year, a strong federal rule covering infant sleep products goes into effect, but until that happens, CR is urging parents to stop using anything that does not follow best safe sleep practices: Babies should sleep alone on their backs on a firm, flat surface without any soft objects or bedding in a product covered by federal standards such as cribs, play yards, and bassinets.

"There is no place on store shelves or online for infant products that fail to align with expert safe sleep guidelines," Shin said.

"I know that Alexander is looking down from heaven and happy that we’ve worked so hard to prevent anymore infant deaths in inclined sleepers," Thompson said.