There are plenty of products on the market right now claiming to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome. But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants parents to know that those items are of no help, according to an FDA press release.
"The agency has never approved a product to prevent SIDS ... and is asking manufacturers to stop marketing their products with these claims until they have received FDA clearance or approval, or to change their labeling to remove all medical claims," the FDA update said. "The products are unnecessary and they can be very dangerous."
So what is the best way to prevent SIDS? Experts say putting babies to sleep on their backs in a bare crib or bassinett (fitted sheet only).
The agency's warning is referring to infant positioners, mattresses, crib bedding, pillows and crib tents and crib baby monitors. The FDA emphasizes that "baby products that claim to cure, treat or prevent any condition are considered medical devices and are subject to FDA regulations." It cited 13 infant deaths in the past 13 years associated specifically with sleep positioners.
Separately, a new study presented at a recent American Academy of Pediatrics conference found that more public education is needed to encourage parents to place their babies on their backs to sleep. Researchers reviewed 91 infant deaths in New Mexico from 2006 to 2010. Of those, 59 were classified as SIDS cases.
Head over to our Safe Sleep page for more information on how to keep your little one secure while he or she is catching some z's. One thing to remember as winter approaches: As temperatures plunge, don't be overbundle your baby because this can also be a SIDS risk. Instead, keep the room temperature at 68 to 72 degrees (this is where a fan can come in handy).