In 2015, a corner from Dauphin County Pennsylvania held a press conference, detailing his report on three infants under six months old who passed away due to asphyxia, a lack of oxygen to the brain. All three infants had been placed to sleep on a U-shaped nursing pillow before their tragic deaths, and the coroner issued a warning to parents to avoid letting their children sleep on these pillows.
Now, over 5 years later, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has finally released a warning about the dangers associated with infant nursing pillows, a warning that comes too late for dozens of families who have now lost their infants in tragic accidents. If you or a loved one have experienced a devastating loss or injury due to a nursing pillow, you may have recourse to pursue a product liability claim, and the attorneys at McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt can help determine if you have a case.
Parents have recently been alerted to the dangers of nursing pillows
Dangers Associated with Nursing Pillows
Nursing pillows help moms breastfeed more easily by providing a comfortable place for the infant to rest while feeding. But they are designed to be in use only while the baby is awake and supervised. And as these recent fatalities have demonstrated, nursing pillows represent a clear danger in regards to sleep.
At least 28 infant deaths have been linked to nursing pillows between 2012 and 2018, according to the CPSC. These deaths often occur because an infant has not developed the neck or body strength to roll over when they become face down on a pillow, and may become entrapped. This can cause them to suffocate in a matter of minutes due to “positional asphyxia”, where a child’s position blocks their airway and prevents them from breathing
Consumer Product Safety Commission Announcement on Nursing Pillows
Federal laws make it difficult to notify the public about product safety unless a recall has been issued. These types of delays have, in the past, led to products like the Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play sleeper remaining on the market for years while safety officials knew the risks they posed to infants.
But the CPSC has been so alarmed at the reports of infant fatalities connected with nursing pillows that it has announced that the entire class of nursing pillows are now under investigation to determine if they are safe for use. While they are not issuing warnings in regards to specific brands at this time, the most common brands of nursing pillows are:
- Blessed Nest
- Luna Lullaby
- Zenoff (My Brest Friend)
Infants are at risk of suffocation if they sleep on nursing pillows
What Parents Can Do to Prevent Nursing Pillow Fatalities
Parents can help prevent positional asphyxia by:
- Never allowing infants to sleep on nursing pillows
- Never using infant sleep products with backs that recline more than 10 degrees.
- Never add pillows, blankets, padded bumpers, or other items to a baby’s crib or sleeping area.
- Always place an infant on their backs to sleep on a firm, flat surface
The CPSC is asking parents at this time to aid in their investigation by reporting any incidents involving nursing pillows at www.saferproducts.gov.
When to Contact a Lawyer About a Nursing Pillow Injury or Death
“Pillows, inclined sleepers, and other products that don’t meet the standards, are, frankly, dangerous and should never be in a place where babies sleep” says Ben Hoffman, MD, and chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention (AAP).
The dangers of nursing pillows have been known for years, yet the reports of fatalities continue to rise. If your family has lost a child and you suspect that their death was caused by a nursing pillow, contact McEldrew Young Purtell Merritt to learn if you are eligible to file one or more lawsuits against the manufacturer. Parents who have suffered a terrible loss have the right to demand justice, and a successful lawsuit may remove the defective product from the market and save additional lives. You can contact us by calling 1-866-869-5318 or by filling out our form.