One of the main goals parents have is to keep children safe. We take our time, do our research and buy a wonderful crib to help them feel safe, sleep positioners to prevent SIDS, toys from a great brand so they don’t get hurt, and a great formula to make sure they get all the nutrients they need to grow healthy.
Over the past weeks, we learned that the crib we thought was safe has killed children before; the toys we thought harmless, have taken children to the emergency rooms; the sleep positioners we thought prevented SIDS do not, and pose a suffocation hazard; and the number one selling formula contained beetles.
The main goal of this article is not to alarm you, but to inform and to give you some tips on how to keep your children safe.
Alert #1: Sleep Positioners, Suffocation Hazard
One of the main concerns parents have with regards to their baby’s sleep (besides helping them sleep) is safety, specifically SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome]. There are many things parents can do to help reduce the risk of SIDS, such as putting your baby to sleep on his/her back.
Many baby product manufacturers used this valid concern to market products arguing that they reduce the risk of SIDS, claim that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Sleep positioners are among these products.
Since 1980s the FDA has approved 18 sleep positioners because evidence suggested that they eased the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and prevented flattening of the skull; NOT because they reduce the risk of SIDS, which is one of the main reasons why most parents are buying and using them.
However, reports of at least 12 deaths among infants from 1 to 4 months of age over the past decade, and multiple nonfatal cases in which babies awoke in unsafe positions after being place in a sleep positioner; indicate that sleep positioners posed a higher risk than we initially thought.
This promoted the FDA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue a warning that baby sleep positioner can carry the risk of suffocation and death. Health officials say the mats with barriers designed to prevent a baby from rolling over SHOULD NOT be used under any circumstances.
If you’re using sleep positioners with your baby, stop using them; the modest benefit does not outweigh the risk.
Learn more about Baby Sleep Safety.
Alert #2: Similac® Powder Formula, Bug Contamination
Abbott Laboratories recalled last week about 5 million containers of its top-selling Similac powdered infant formula due to possible contamination by beetles and larvae of the bugs. The recall does not affect any liquid formulas or other Abbott-brand products.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) determined that the formula containing the beetles ‘poses no immediate health risk, there is a possibility that infants who consume formula containing the beetles or their larvae could experience symptoms of gastrointestinal discomfort and refusal to eat as a result of small insect parts irritating the GI tract.’
If your child has been showing digestive symptoms such as a stomach-ache or refusal to eat, after drinking the formula, you should contact your child’s pediatrician.
The recall includes:
- All lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in plastic containers, including 1.38-lb, 1.45-lb and 2.12-lb containers
- Similac Sensitive Isomil Soy – 12.4-oz cans – only lots numbers containing RB
- Similac Advance – 12.4-oz cans – only lots numbers containing RB
- certain lots of Similac formula powder product lines offered in sizes such as 8-ounce, 12.4-ounce and 12.9-ounce cans
- Similac formula powder in 8-ounce sample cans that could have been given out in doctor’s offices and hospitals
If you have been feeding this formula to your child, or have it in your pantry; please visit company’s, http://www.similac.com/recall, or call their consumer hot line at (800) 986-8850, to check if you have products with the affected lot numbers. Abbott said those products should be returned to the company for a full refund.
Alert #3: Fisher Price Toys, Tricycles and High Chairs, Safety Concerns
Fisher-Price announced a wide-reaching recall of more than 11 million toys and kids’ products. More than 7 million tricycles, 1 million high chairs, 2.9 million infant toys, and 120,000 toy cars and ramps. Nearly 50 products are included in the recall.
There has not been any report of death, but several children required medical attention. There have been 10 reports of injuries on the tricycles, including genital bleeding. A protruding part near the tricycles seat, which children can fall or accidentally sit on, is the alleged problem.
There have been 14 reported incidents with the high chairs; children can fall on or against the pegs on the rear legs of the high chair resulting in injuries or lacerations. The pegs are used for high chair tray storage. There have been 50 reports of valves coming out of inflatable toy balls, with poses a choking hazard. Finally, there have been several reports of wheels coming off some toy cars, also posing a choking risk.
The toys included in this recall are very common, so please visit Mattel’s website http://service.mattel.com/us/recall.asp or call 1 800 432 5437. Fisher-Price is offering replacements and repair kids for the recalled toys and baby equipment, but not refunds.
Make sure you examine your children’s toys regularly, look for loose parts, small pieces, or broken parts.
Alert #4: Simplicity-Sorelle Cribs, Entrapment, Suffocation and Fall Hazards
CPSC has received one report of a consumer who, in April of 2010, removed the Sorelle Prescott label from the crib and found a Simplicity crib label underneath. (The consumer purchased the crib in July of 2009, prior to the Simplicity mattress support recall.)
Child product safety advocate Nancy Cowles was fuming when she saw the Simplicity brand had been obscured. “How’s a consumer to trust these manufacturers? I’m sure many of the families would have made a different choice if they had known they were buying a Simplicity crib,” Cowles, executive director of Kids in Danger, told Consumer Ally.
In the April 2010 Simplicity recall, CPSC reported the death of a one-year-old child from Attleboro, Mass. who suffocated when he became entrapped between the crib mattress and the crib frame. In addition, CPSC has received reports of 29 incidents involving the Simplicity cribs where the cribs collapsed due to the metal mattress support frame detaching or bending. These include one child entrapment that did not result in injury and one child who suffered minor cuts when his head struck the broken mattress support bar.
This recall is limited to Sorelle “Prescott” cribs sold online by AlbeeBaby.com between July 2009 and October 2009 for between $180 and $210.
If you have one of these cribs, you should immediately stop using them and contact Albee Baby for a replacement crib, store credit or refund.
Diana Gonzalez Blanco, B.B.A., M.B.A., is a Certified Youth, Parenting and Family Coach; a Baby and Toddler Sleep Expert; and founder of Smooth Parenting. Smooth Parenting is a baby & toddler sleep training consultancy and parenting coaching firm, that helps families around the world get a good night sleep and a peaceful, smooth and happy family life. Diana has an impressive track record of helping families teach their babies to sleep. Her approach to sleep training and parenting is gentle, progressive, effective, holds the wellbeing of the child first, and follows the guidelines provided by the American Association of Pediatrics.