KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — President Joe Biden signed the Safe Sleep Act of 2021 in May of this year. The act makes it unlawful to manufacture, sell, or distribute certain baby products moving forward.
The Safe Sleep Act bans inclined sleepers for infants and crib bumpers as hazardous products because of the risk of suffocation.
The text of the act states that inclined sleepers for infants, regardless of the date of manufacture, shall be considered a banned hazardous product under section 8 of the Consumer Product Safety Act. It goes on to clarify the term ‘‘inclined sleeper for infants’’ means a product with an inclined sleep surface greater than ten degrees that is intended, marketed, or designed to provide sleeping accommodations for an infant up to one year old.
As far as the crib bumpers go, the act states crib bumpers, regardless of the date of manufacture, shall be considered a banned hazardous product under section 8 of the Consumer Product Safety Act.
In this section, the term ‘‘crib bumper’’ (1) means any material that is intended to cover the sides of a crib to prevent injury to any crib occupant from impacts against the side of a crib or to prevent partial or complete access to any openings in the sides of a crib to prevent a crib occupant from getting any part of the body entrapped in any opening; (2) includes a padded crib bumper, a supported and unsupported vinyl bumper guard, and vertical crib slat covers; and (3) does not include a non-padded mesh crib liner.
The inclined sleepers impacts and crib bumpers are officially banned 180 days after the enactment of the Safe Sleep Act of 2021.
The Injury Prevention Coordinator at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital talks about how these items can become fatal.
“An infant when they roll over or they scoot over to this crib bumper, that’s when the suffocation begins,” began Shenaiah Thomas with ETCH. “They roll over than they do not have the ability to move their head back over from being on this crib bumper and that causes their oxygen level to decline tremendously.”
Thomas also spoke about the dangers with inclined sleepers when they are inclined greater than 10 degrees. “When your infant is inclined, especially at a 30 degrees, we’re talking about chin to neck here or chin to chest and so that already presents a really difficult angle for an infant to breathe.”
Thomas said it’s important to remember the ABCs of infants sleeping; alone, on their backs and in a crib. Thomas also strongly discouraged bed-sharing.
To properly dispose of any of the impacts items or products, Thomas says people need to make sure it is damaged to a point that it can not be reused or recycled in the future. An example is cutting up a crib bumper before throwing it out.
For people who are unsure about whether their product is banned or not, Thomas says to check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.