Manufacturers must relay crib mattress hazards under new federal standard

Health

Baby lying on back in pink cage-like design infant bed.

(NewsNation Now) — By fall of 2022, crib mattresses used in play yards and portable cribs must have improved labeling and instructions to communicate the risks of injuries, according to a new federal safety standard.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Wednesday that it approved a mandatory safety standard that will ensure crib mattresses, as well as after-market mattresses used in play yards and cribs, are safer for babies.  

There were at least 494 incidents, including 139 fatalities and 355 nonfatal incidents, related to crib mattresses between January 2010 and April 2021, according to a CPSC news release issued Wednesday.

Under the new standard, labels and instructions must communicate to consumers the risks of SIDS and suffocation related to infant positioning, soft bedding and gap entrapment.

The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a flat, bare crib, according to the CPSC.

The new standard also addresses lacerations from coil springs and “excessively soft mattresses.” It additionally requires that any mattress sold for use in a play yard meet the same requirements as the original mattress, so that babies do not suffocate in a gap between the mattress and the flexible sides of the play yard, according to the release.

“Today’s vote means crib mattresses of all sizes will be required to meet safety standards,” CPSC Chair Alex Hoehn-Saric said in an official statement. “This will improve safety for babies sleeping in cribs and play yards.”   

Crib and play yard mattresses are among more than 20 nursery products with mandatory standards. Other products subject to regulation include infant sleep products, bassinets, play yards, bedside sleepers, swings, toddler beds, bouncer seats and changing tables. 

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