This week, Arm’s Reach Concepts recalled 76,000 bedside sleepers because infants can become trapped and suffocate. The California company and the Consumer Product Safety Commission have received 10 reports of infants falling from a mattress onto the bottom of the sleeper or becoming entrapped.
The Original and Universal styles being recalled were sold at Burlington Coat Factory, Babies R Us, and other retailers. Check the recall notice for the manufacture dates and model numbers involved.
The problem lies with the fabric liner. If it’s not used or securely attached, the recall notice says, “infants can fall from the raised mattress into the loose fabric at the bottom of the bed-side sleeper or can become entrapped between the edge of the mattress and the side of the sleeper.”
Co-sleepers attach to the side of a regular bed to give parents easy access to infants during the night. We continue to recommend against using any brand of co-sleeper, because there are currently no standards in place. Standards-setting organization ASTM is currently working on one, and it’s close to being approved. But we’re worried that the proposed version may not be stringent enough to prevent injuries or deaths.
Our concern is well-founded. The bassinet-like devices designed to go in between parents or alongside an adult bed don’t necessarily make co-sleeping with a baby safer. In 2008, the popular Simplicity bedside sleeper was recalled after two babies died from strangling or suffocating when they slipped through an opening in the frame.
Until the strongest possible standards are in place, we think the safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib.