Federal safety regulators push for redesign of infant loungers following reported associated infant deaths

Federal safety regulators have urged for a redesign of infant loungers after a series of associated infant deaths.

Staff at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a report that proposes a major redesign of most baby loungers and infant cushions, citing 79 deaths from 2010 to 2022.

“More than 80 percent of the fatalities associated with these products involved infants three months old and younger,” CPSC wrote in its recommendation. “In more than 60 percent of the fatalities, the official cause of death was either asphyxia or probable asphyxia.”

The proposal would create the first federal safety requirements for infant loungers, crib pillows, head positioners and nursing pillows that are marketed as loungers and cushions.

The safety measures would require the cushions to be as firm as crib mattresses and limit the height of the cushion, meant to reduce the risk of infants suffocating on the padding.

“This proposed rule addresses the risk of death and injury associated with infant support cushions primarily due to suffocation, entrapment, and fall hazards,” CPSC wrote.

CPSC also recommended the products would need more prominent warning labels that caution against using the products while babies sleep or are unattended and are “strongly worded, conspicuous, and permanent.”

CPSC’s commissioners will decide whether to adopt the recommendation in a meeting scheduled for Nov. 29.

The recommendation comes after lawmakers called for federal action. In July, a pair of Democratic lawmakers demanded more federal regulation to address the dangers of the infant loungers.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) voiced their concerns in a letter to CPSC arguing more regulation is necessary to prevent more infant suffocation deaths.

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