ALERT

The Washington Post

By Todd C. Frankel

June 2, 2021

A federal safety agency on Wednesday banned a range of infant sleep products that currently slip between gaps in regulations, an attempt to fix a loophole blamed for at least 90 accidental deaths.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 3 to 1 to pass the new rule. It requires any product designed for sleeping babies to meet within one year the mandatory federal standards already in place for cribs, bassinets, bedside sleepers and play yards. Dozens of products currently for sale don’t fit into one of those categories, so they don’t need to measure up. Yet they are popular with parents.

The list includes a plethora of products marketed to parents desperate to get their babies to sleep, including devices that claim to help a baby sleep safely in a parent’s bed, along with baby tents and small sleepers known as travel beds or portable bassinets.

Supporters of the new rule said it will address an explosion in untested infant sleep products that conflict with federal safe sleep guidelines that recommend babies sleep on simple, flat surfaces. The American Academy of Pediatrics and advocacy groups such as Consumer Reports pushed for the measure.

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