Two Democratic lawmakers are calling on the Consumer Product Safety Commission to implement stricter rules on what they describe as "dangerous" loungers and sleep products used by babies.
Officially, these products have been blamed for the deaths of 10 infants, but Sen. Richard Blumenthal and Rep. Jan Schakowsky noted an NBC News report that tied 25 infant deaths to the products.
The lawmakers are concerned that these products are marketed to the parents of infants, although officials say that babies should sleep on firm, flat non-inclined surfaces.
"The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended that babies sleep on firm, flat non-inclined surfaces, yet these loungers are an example of the unnecessary products that conflict with these recommendations and put lives at risk," Blumenthal and Schakowsky wrote in the letter. "While manufacturers might claim these products are not for infant sleep, their design and marketing often signal otherwise to parents and caregivers."
The CPSC issued new rules regarding infant sleep products, requiring additional testing and performance requirements to prevent suffocations. The new rules went into effect in 2022.
In 2021, the CPSC announced a recall of 3.3 million Bobby Original Newborn Loungers. The CPSC found that eight deaths were tied to the use of these loungers. Officials said infants can suffocate if they roll, move or are placed on the lounger in a way that obstructs breathing.
The lawmakers say the Bobby loungers were not the only ones that posed a danger to infants and unsuspecting infants.
"Dangerous infant loungers remain poorly regulated to date and as the CPSC takes action to regulate infant pillows, it is imperative that this rule include infant loungers. A strong rule that eliminates pillow-like loungers, and other similar products that invite parents to use them believing these products are safe for infant sleep, is essential," the lawmakers wrote.
CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric responded with a statement, saying, "I have been encouraged by the steadfast commitment Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. Schakowsky have demonstrated for our work to keep babies safe from hazardous products. We look forward to their continued support as we work to develop performance standards to make these products safer."
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