CPSC Suspects Some Nursing Pillows Could Be Causing Infant Deaths

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently warned that some infant deaths could be caused by nursing pillows left in the crib while the child is not monitored. Many new mothers use nursing pillows to help provide back and arm support while nursing a child. Yet the comfort products can become deadly when used incorrectly.

Based on the CPSC investigation, newborns are at risk of suffocation when left unattended with a soft nursing pillow. Babies can roll onto their stomachs or sides onto the pillow and get stuck due to their lack of motor control and the softness of the pillow. There are also concerns that some parents may leave their infants propped up against a nursing pillow while they leave the room, which can also be dangerous. This positioning can cause particularly young babies to rest their chin and unintentionally close their airway without the ability to lift their heads.

The infant deaths associated with nursing pillows are not necessarily new to the CPSC. Pillows, pads, crib liners, and other soft fabric products have long been considered suffocation hazards when a newborn is left alone or is allowed to sleep on such products. According to the CPSC, nearly 30 infant deaths caused by pillow-related suffocation have been recorded from 2012 to 2018, but there might be many more such deaths that were never reported to the organization. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that upwards of 1,000 child deaths each year are caused by suffocation while sleeping, which would account for about one-in-fourth infant deaths.

Is There a Nursing Pillow Recall?

Currently, the CPSC has not prompted any new mandatory or temporary recalls for nursing pillows. The issue is so widespread that a single recall might not make a significant difference.

Instead, the CPSC and the CDC have reissued a general warning for all parents who use nursing pillows, crib bumpers, and other supportive products around their children. Infants should not sleep on soft pillows or rest against inclines of 10 degrees or more. For the safest sleeping experience, pediatricians usually recommend that infants sleep in a crib alone, with no restraints or pillows, and on their backs. You should always talk with your chosen pediatrician to see if your child should have any specializations to their sleeping position and routine, though.

Can You Sue If Your Child is Hurt?

The ability to file a child injury or infant death lawsuit after a nursing pillow or similar product causes harm will vary greatly among cases. Without a direct product recall, product manufacturers might have an easier time defending themselves from liability. The safety instructions on each product type will also play a major role in liability assignments. For example, if a product clearly states that it should not be left in a crib with an unattended child, then the parent might have little grounds to file a claim. Yet if there was no suffocation hazard warning, the claim could possibly stand up and reach a settlement or positive jury verdict.

To get to the bottom of your product liability claim involving a young child who cannot speak for themselves, it is recommended that you work with a local personal injury attorney. They can investigate available evidence like product packaging to decide if you have a viable claim that should be pursued.

Parents in Philadelphia should dial (215) 278-4449 to connect with Golomb LegalOur law firm focuses largely on consumer class actions, which could be the best legal option for bringing lawsuits against a baby product manufacturer. We also offer free consultations to inquiring clients.