Improper use of Boppy nursing pillows, loungers linked to 7 infant deaths

The agency advised parents to not allow infants to sleep on nursing pillows or pillow-like products
Seven recent infant deaths have been tied to nursing pillows and infant loungers made by Boppy, a maker of baby products, according to a new analysis from Consumer Reports.

The seven deaths, and one infant injury, all happened in the nearly one year since the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a warning for caregivers about the risks of using pillow-like products for sleeping infants, according to Consumer Reports, which analyzed U.S. government data.

The 2020 warning from CPSC applied to all nursing pillows and baby loungers on the market, while the new Consumer Reports data found that all seven recent infant deaths have been tied to products made by Boppy.

In response to the findings, the CPSC told ABC News it is looking into possible legal action.

"The agency is currently considering what legal action is necessary in light of the reported incidents," CPSC said in a statement.

Boppy's products are sold online and in major retailers. The nursing pillows are used to make breastfeeding more comfortable and easier, while the loungers are designed for babies to sit or lie on.

The company told ABC News in a statement they have "long provided clear and unequivocal warnings and instructions for safe use on all products."

"We strongly support the CPSC's warning last October to never use nursing pillows or lounger-like products for infant sleep," Boppy said in a statement. "We are devastated to hear of these tragedies and take this very seriously."

"Every incident a Boppy product was associated with involved an unsafe sleep environment that are contrary to our warnings, [American Academy of Pediatrics'] guidelines, and CPSC's warning," the statement continued. "We have long provided clear and unequivocal warnings and instructions for safe use on all products. We have always stressed that our products are for awake time only. And, as clearly noted on all products, packaging and promotional materials, infants should not be unattended or left to sleep on or with any Boppy product. Despite these measures, Boppy products have been used for infant sleep in adult beds, sofas, cribs, bassinets and play yards with blankets, pillows and people."

"To help reduce the risk of such tragedies, Boppy remains committed to communicating the safe use of our products to parents and caregivers through every means possible. We ask our loyal Boppy community to work with us in sharing that Boppy products are for awake time only and to follow the AAP safe sleep guidelines. We pledge to continue our work in earnest with our community and the CPSC to help keep babies safe," the statement read.

In its warning last year, the CPSC said the deaths involving nursing pillows and loungers appeared to happen when "children are left on or near pillows, and the child rolls over, rolls off, or falls asleep."

The agency advised parents to not allow infants to sleep on nursing pillows or pillow-like products.

It also said parents should not use infant sleep products with inclined seatbacks of more than 10 degrees, and should not use infant car seats, bouncers and other inclined products for sleep.

In addition, the agency said parents should keep their babies' sleep environments bare, with no blankets, pillows, padded bumpers or other items. Parents and caregivers should not use infant car seats, bouncers, and other infant inclined products for sleep, and should follow manufacturer instructions.

Caregivers should also always place infants to sleep on their backs on a firm, flat surface, according to both the CPSC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

In June, the CPSC approved a new federal rule for infant sleep products that will go into effect in 2022. Products will need to be tested to confirm that the angle of the sleeping surface is 10 degrees or lower and that they comply with the CPSC's safety standard for bassinets and cradles.
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