Suffocation Deaths Associated with Use of Infant Sleep Positioners — United States, 1997–2011

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
November 23, 2012 / 61(46);933-937

Unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury death among children aged less than 1 year in the United States, accounting for nearly 1,000 infant deaths annually. Since 1984, an estimated fourfold increase has been observed in accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed, with many of these deaths linked to unsafe sleep environments (1,2). Infant sleep positioners (ISPs) are devices intended to keep an infant in a specific position while sleeping, yet ISPs have been reported to have been present in the sleep environment in some cases of unintentional infant suffocation (Figure).
To characterize infant deaths associated with ISPs, FDA, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and CDC examined information reported to CPSC about 13 infant deaths in the past 13 years associated with the use of ISPs.