Do you have an infant? Worried about SIDS? Marketers know this and try to sell parents products that prevent SIDS. The FDA says it’s a bag of lies.
Every parent wants the best for their kid. Worried guardians can be obsessed with safety concerns, and anything that can help a child-especially a baby- to stay alive and safe is often seen as being worth every penny.
But what makes something safe? Why are we being falsely lured into buying products that prevent SIDS?
Check this out.
Secure Beginnings, a company that makes ‘breathable mattresses’ for babies states the following on their website:
“Avoid the possible threat of waking up to a tragedy. Putting your baby to sleep on their back is not always enough since your baby will begin to roll around 4 months of age.”
The site goes on to talk about how the company’s mattresses are ‘breathable’ and better for your baby to sleep on than a normal crib mattress.
Secure Beginnings never comes out and actually says the obvious. They never state:
“our mattresses will prevent your kid from dying of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)”, but this is of course what you, as a parent, are likely thinking.
And they know it. They want you to. The company name, the product and the facts and arguments they present on their website all hint at this very statement.
No Products Prevent SIDS
But here’s the truth: stating that a mattress will prevent a child from dying of SIDS can’t be said or written because it isn’t actually true.
In fact, even though in this case, the product is said to be “Created by three individuals who lost loved ones who had rolled in the middle of the night – a pediatrician, a product safety engineer, and an interior designer,” and these same creators say they are “proud to offer a crib mattress that allows a baby who is face down to breathe normally right through his/her mattress,” it’s possible that it’s all bunk.
Here’s why it doesn’t add up:
Experts at the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve products that claim to cure, treat or prevent a disease or medical condition.
That’s what they do — that’s their “thing”. And here’s what they have to say about this kind of marketing:
There it is, plain and simple.
The Agency states that it has never-NEVER-cleared or approved a baby product to prevent or reduce the risk of SIDS.
Because it’s not aware of any scientific studies that prove a medical device prevents or reduces the risk of SIDS.
The Agency lists the following products as those that are often marketed as preventing or reducing the risk of SIDS: baby monitors, mattresses, crib tents, pillows, crib bedding, pillows, crib bedding such as bumpers and blankets and infant positioners.
None of these can actually prevent a fatal medical condition. In fact, when it comes to infant positioners in particular, the FDA actively warns against using them with a sleeping baby.
The products, they say, are connected with 13 infant deaths in the past 13 years.
Good Sleep Practices
So, what IS good practice for guardians with crying babies, who need to get some shuteye?
SIDS and its cause, unfortunately, remains a mystery, to this day. Experts recommend that the best way to reduce the risk is to have the baby sleep alone, in their own sleeping space without anyone else, adult or child.
It’s recommended that parents place the baby on their back on a firm sleeping surface, in a bassinet or crib that’s free of pillows, blankets, bumpers, sleep positioners and any other objects. Nothing is a guarantee.
In general, the moral of the story seems to be this: if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Read carefully, and don’t be pulled in by your own fears.