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Baby products intended for infant sleep have to undergo safety testing starting next June

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Posted at 6:02 AM, Sep 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-24 20:02:23-04

If you're a soon-to-be new mom or dad, getting your nursery ready can be overwhelming. There are so many sleepers, swings, jumpers, and playpens on the market -- making sure your baby's safety comes first.

Starting on June 23 of 2022, manufacturers of many baby products will be held to new safety standards. Baby products intended or marketed for infant sleep have to be tested to make sure the angle of the sleep surface is 10 degrees or lower. The purpose is to get rid of potentially hazardous sleep products being sold.

The new federal standard comes a couple of years after the inclined sleeper from Fisher-Price, the Rock 'n Play, was linked to dozens of infant deaths. Families reported babies rolled from their backs to their stomachs or sides while unrestrained in the sleeper.

On April 12, 2019, two days after the I-Team fielded questions from caregivers on Facebook about why the Rock 'n Play was still on the market, the toy company recalled 4.7 million of the products.

The latest data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows about 119 deaths every year are associated with nursery products.

"About 83 percent of those were associated with cribs, playpens, bassinets, incline infant carriers, and swings," said CPSC spokesperson Nikki Fleming.

"The majority of the fatalities actually occurred due to a cluttered environment, cluttered sleep space, where additional bedding had been added - pillows quilts, comforters," Fleming added.

"Why can't that federal safety standard be implemented sooner?" the I-Team's Kristin Byrne asked Fleming in a Zoom interview.

"CPSC is required by law to give manufacturers time to comply with that standard. So, again the safest place for babies right now is on a firm flat surface," Fleming responded.

"We know that babies spend a majority of their time sleeping. So you want to start with a safe sleep space. So you don't want to use a product that is not intended for sleep," she said.

Fleming said if your baby falls asleep in a swing, bouncer, or another product, transfer them to a crib or bassinet, place them on their back, and keep the space bare -- no pillows, crib bumpers, or blankets.

Click here to read more baby sleep safety reminders from CPSC.

You can sign up to be notified when a baby product is recalled by clicking here.

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