Baby bouncer seats linked to deaths and injuries
Baby bouncer seats have been linked to 12 infant deaths and nearly 23,000 injuries since 2006, according to the federal government’s Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The popular product is in millions of homes and on store shelves. They’re built for kids six months old and younger, who haven’t developed enough to sit up on their own.
Federal officials say those deaths and injuries are preventable, if parents and other caregivers use the seats properly.
Lindsay Dunn straps her 4-month-old daughter, Amelia, into a baby bouncer seat.
This is the same bouncer seat that all three of Lindsay’s children have used over the years.
She’s shocked by the high number of deaths and injuries.
“I think that taking a few minutes to read a warning label, or the pamphlet that comes with it that tells you how to work it the right way,” Dunn told the ABC 33/40 News iTeam. “It could save their lives.”
Infant deaths often due to suffocation
The Consumer Product Safety Commission linked 12 infant deaths over the past 10 years to baby bouncers. The deaths were often due to suffocation tied to improper use. That’s after unrestrained babies tipped over in the seats placed on mattresses, comforters, or other soft surfaces.
Babies fell from tall surfaces
And here’s the biggest reason for nearly 23,000 children injured between 2006 and 2015: The babies in their bouncer seats fell from kitchen countertops, tables or other tall surfaces. Falls often resulted in concussions and skull fractures.
New warning labels on baby bouncers starting in March 2018
Starting next March, new bouncer seats will carry warning labels positioned near the baby’s head so that they’re much more visible to the adults caring for them.
“When the parent or caregiver is placing the baby in the bouncer, they will immediately see that warning label,” said CPSC spokesperson Karla Crosswhite.
How to keep your baby safe
Those warning labels will highlight important advice that parents need to pay attention to now — with the baby bouncer seats their kids are already using:
- Use the bouncer seat on the floor—never on an elevated surface.
- Never use the bouncer seat on a bed or sofa. That’s because babies have suffocated when bouncers tipped over on soft surfaces.
- Adjust restraints to fit snugly around the baby.
- Never lift or carry the baby in the bouncer.
- Stop using the bouncer seat after the child can sit up on its own.
And perhaps the best advice of all is doing what Lindsay Dunn does. She’s a blogger. And even when she’s researching or writing an article for Birmingham Moms Blog on her laptop — she’s near little Amelia and keeps a close watch on her.
“I also make sure that whatever room I’m in, that she’s going to be in there with me as well. You wouldn’t want to leave them unattended,” Dunn said.
One other point.
If the baby falls asleep in the bouncer, and you’re at home, the CPSC says put the baby in its crib, on its back. No pillows. That’s the safest sleep environment.
Of course, it’s always important to read warning labels and instructions with all baby products.
Studies show a baby is injured every eight minutes using some kind of a nursery product — mostly because they fell out them.
While products can always be improved, always read those warning labels and instructions—your baby’s life literally depends on it.