Hazard Patterns Associated With Co-sleepers

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We conducted a retrospective review of incidents associated with co-sleepers. A total of 26 incidents (6 deaths and 20 injuries) were reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Of these, 5 deaths were caused by asphyxia, and 1 was attributed to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The mean age at death was 3.1 months. Two-thirds of deaths had known risk factors for SIDS. Of the 20 injuries, entrapment (60%) and suffocation (35%) hazards were most common. Almost half of the injuries occurred after the co-sleeper was improperly assembled. Infant deaths and injuries associated with co-sleepers are infrequent. Most deaths were associated with other SIDS risk factors. Many deaths and injuries were associated with improper use or assembly of the co-sleeper. It is important for pediatricians to advise parents not to use previously owned co-sleepers or to use co-sleepers in any way other than what is specifically stated in the product instructions to avoid infant injury or death.

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