The holiday season is a time of travel and a time when many households accommodate out-of-town visitors. As available beds become more scarce, many homeowners employ inflatable mattresses to accommodate additional guests. Those inflatable mattresses are too soft for sleeping infants, however, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is warning that the mattresses are safe only for adults and older children.
Since 2002, the agency has received 16 reports of infant deaths attributable to inflatable mattresses — 11 children suffocated in a face-down position on the mattresses, and 5 died of suffocation after falling into gaps between the edge of the mattress and adjacent furniture or a wall. The agency recommends the following safe sleeping tips for infants:
"Always place your baby to sleep on his or her back to reduce the risk of SIDS.
Never place baby to sleep on an adult bed. Infants can suffocate on bedding or can become entrapped between the mattress and bed frame or mattress and wall.
When using a crib, make sure it meets current safety standards, has a firm, tight-fitting mattress and tight-fitting bottom sheet.
When using a portable crib or play yard, be sure to use only the mattress or pad provided by the manufacturer. "
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