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BABIES BEWARE: Air Mattresses are Hazardous

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, December 18th, 2007 at 3:04 pm in Health & Safety.

Baby sleepingIt’s tempting to blow up an air mattress or two when guests come to stay, but if you’ve got a baby, beware of alternative sleeping arrangements. The  U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a statement today warning families that air mattresses are too soft for infant use and the consequences can be heartbreaking: “Since 2002, CPSC has received reports of 16 tragic deaths, mostly infants younger than 8 months of age who were placed to sleep on air mattresses: 11 suffocated in a face down position on an air mattress and 5 died due to suffocation after falling into gaps between the mattress and bed frame and mattress and adjacent furniture or wall.”

Plus, all the usual caveats: Babies should sleep on their backs. Be wary of putting a baby down to sleep in an adult bed. Babies can become entangled in the bedclothes or slip between the mattress and bedframe. And if you’re traveling with a port-a-crib or playpen, make sure it meets current safety standards, and has a firm, tight-fitting mattress and tight-fitting bottom sheet.

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