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AAP leaders call decision to pull harmful weighted sleep products a 'strong first step'

April 29, 2024

Several major retailers including Amazon, Target and Babylist announced they would stop selling weighted infant sleep products such as baby blankets, sleep sacks and swaddles.

The retailers’ decisions come after years of AAP advocacy, including publication of recommendations for safe sleep in 2022 outlining how weighted products are unsafe for infants and advising they not be placed on or near a sleeping infant.

“This is a strong first step, and infants deserve more,” said AAP President Benjamin D. Hoffman, M.D., FAAP. “Exhausted parents shouldn’t have to become part-time product safety regulators, but our current system forces them to by allowing infant products onto the market without evidence they are safe. We need a proactive approach that keeps infants safe and gives parents the peace of mind they deserve.”

Last year, the Academy outlined its concerns with weighted infant sleep products in a letter to leaders at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and ASTM International. The AAP opposed the development of a voluntary safety standard for these products, saying it would send an incorrect message to families that the products are safe.

Approximately 3,500 infants each year experience sleep-related death. Most of these deaths are due to sudden infant death syndrome or accidental deaths from suffocation or strangulation. Many of these deaths in otherwise healthy infants are preventable.

The AAP recommends that infants always sleep on their back, on a separate, flat and firm sleep surface without any bumpers or loose bedding. AAP recommendations for a safe sleep environment also include room-sharing without bed-sharing, and the avoidance of soft bedding and overheating.

The CPSC safe sleep recommendations urge families not to use weighted blankets or weighted swaddles.

“These products are associated with concerning reductions in oxygen saturation levels in infants,” CPSC Commissioner Richard L. Trumka Jr. said in a statement. “This means there is evidence that the use of weighted sleep products on infants can lead to lower oxygen levels, which if sustained, may be harmful to the developing infant’s brain. I’ve sat with the parents of a child who died in one of these products, and I carry their grief with me. I share their desire to make sure no one else suffers the fate that their family did.”

In its announcement, Amazon outlined its policy for weighted infant sleep products, saying product listings would be removed if they:

  • refer to an infant or use terms such as “baby,” “newborn,” “very young child” or “young child” in product detail page titles, descriptions, bullet points or images; or
  • include images of an infant with the product; or
  • describe the use of weight to aid in better infant sleep or use terms such as “self-soothing,” “fall asleep fast,” “deeper sleep” or “sleep longer” in product detail page titles, descriptions, bullet points or images.

Many families expect products on store shelves or sold online to be safe for home use, but this is not always the case. AAP leaders say continued monitoring of products and a proactive approach is necessary to keep children safe.


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