amazon and ebay to stop selling incline sleepers
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Amazon and eBay to stop selling inclined sleepers linked to infant death.

Written By Michael Trigg. Contributing Writer For Telegraph Local

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Both eBay and Amazon told the Washington Post this week they are removing all infant incline sleepers from their websites and adding them to their list of banned items. A number of tragic infant deaths and investigations have finally forced both companies to pull inclined sleepers from their product line.

A babay sleeping on its back.
Image Credit: Carlo Navarro, Unsplash

Inclined sleepers, a slanted kind of hammock made of soft material that could hang from a frame were first introduced into the infant market around 2009. Many of these baby sleeping products can vibrate, blow air or play music, all designed to make baby fall asleep faster. But these products were then found to be dangerous and are now linked to an estimated 73 infant deaths.

In April, 2019, Fisher-Price recalled 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play infant sleepers,  following reports of babies who died while sleeping in them. It is reported that some babies rolled from their backs onto their stomachs, a position that restricted their air intake. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has stated in a report that babies should be put to bed on their back on a firm, flat surface without bumpers and other soft bedding that could potentially inhibit their breathing. Their opinion, which seems to be confirmed by reports of many baby deaths, is inclined sleepers increase the likelihood of airway compression and suffocation.

An image of a baby's crib.
Image Credit: Bastion Jailiot, Unsplash.

Pediatrician Erin Frank, MD, Associate Division Chief, Pediatric Hospital Medicine at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital when interviewed about reclining sleepers and why they present a danger to infants advised:
One of the real dangers is that babies have poor head control. They can slouch down while sleeping at an incline and tuck their heads into their chests. This closes the airway and causes problems with breathing. If Mom or Dad is watching, they can do something about it. But if no one is around, this can be a serious problem.”

One of the biggest risk issues with an inclined sleeper is when a baby rolls over. Many parents don’t realize the possibility that the first time a baby does rollover is when they are sleeping. The majority of deaths occur when babies managed to change their positions while in a sleeper. The opinion of many baby care experts is the inclined sleeper is only to be used when the parents are nearby and a product such as this is only used to assist the baby in falling asleep. Once asleep, the infant should be moved to a crib or other safe sleep space.

Image of the feet of a baby sleeping on its back.
Image Credit: Jens Johansen, Unsplash

Even after the inclined sleeper is pulled off the market by the manufacturers and retailers, the danger for babies still exists. There are a great number of these devices still available in the second-hand market. There needs to be a public awareness program that will cause new parents who unaware of the risks and dangers of the inclined sleepers before purchasing them through used  product websites and second hand shops.

Michael Trigg
I am a dyed in the wool optimist though I do have fears for the future of my two young grandchildren and what life will be like for them in 20 years or so.

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