Bedside sleeper safety was recently improved with new federal mandates. Bedside sleepers are similar to bassinets but attach to the side of an adult bed. They allow for easier access to the baby, reducing the dangers associated with co-sleeping (such as rolling over onto the child).
The new standards include compliance with recent requirements mandated for bassinets (federal standard 16 C.F.R. part 1218), which address a variety of safety features. For instance, changes to stability test procedure and mattress flatness.
In addition, modifications recently made to the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) voluntary standard. One pertains to missing components that lead to faulty assembly by the consumer and the other regarding entrapment hazards with fabric-sided openings on the product.
Although the standards have been approved, a final ruling still needs to be made. Once that happens, it becomes mandatory six months afterward.
Bedside sleepers may provide a much-needed convenience to parents. But they have also been associated with 27 safety incidences and four fatalities. The reports stemming from those deaths had to do with fabric-sided openings.
Recalls on Sleeping-Related Baby Products
Bedside sleepers, cribs, bassinets and other products designed for sleeping have been the subject of many recalls over the years. One of the primary reasons stems from the risk of entrapment.
Babies and young children have become stuck in gaps between the mattress and the product itself. If the whole body doesn’t fit in the gap then the head could still be trapped between slats or other openings on the sides of these products that poses the risk of strangulation.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission puts these mandates into place to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury. But sometimes they aren’t stringent enough. Or despite them, the product is poorly designed and/or manufactured. When this happens and a child suffers serious or fatal injuries, it could lead to a product liability claim.
Anyone involved in the chain of distribution could potentially be held liable by defective product lawyers like Gacovino, Lake, & Associates. To stay up-to-date on defective product recalls you can subscribe to our newsletter, Torts & More Monthly, a critical resource for new parents.