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Inclined sleepers: A tragedy waiting to happen in our homes

73 infant deaths linked to inclined sleepers in the US reinforces need for stronger product safety laws in Australia.

CHOICE is calling on the government to introduce tighter product safety laws, following an alarming number of infant deaths linked to inclined sleepers in the US.

CHOICE experts say that based on research conducted in the US, inclined sleepers are so dangerous for young babies that they should be completely avoided.

Two inclined sleeping products have been recalled in Australia in recent years - the Rock ‘N Play and Kids2 sleepers - but the Federal Government needs to step up and prevent unsafe products from getting into Australian homes in the first place.

"At the moment, the public is being treated as a testing lab for dangerous products. Safety tests should be conducted in factories, not in people’s homes," says product safety campaigner, Amy Pereira. 

"Inclined sleepers are particularly hazardous because of their soft, sloped surface. This kind of surface may increase the risk of sudden and unexpected death, as babies can roll over or have their head fall forward while in them and suffocate."

How can infants suffocate in inclined sleepers? 

Illustration showing how infants can suffocate in inclined sleepers. Illustration by Chris Philpot for Consumer Reports.

Illustration: Chris Philpot for Consumer Reports

"We’ve seen countless examples of unsafe products flooding our homes," says Pereira. "It shouldn’t be up to the person buying the product to check whether it’s going to harm them or not. They should be able to assume it’s safe." 

"Australians need a new product safety law to put responsibility where it should be - with the manufacturer, to ensure that their product is safe before it’s sold."

CHOICE is calling for a General Safety Duty. This involves introducing a new section on product safety into the Australian Consumer Law so that all products will be subject to basic and sensible safety checks before going on sale.

Media contact: Katelyn Cameron, 0430 172 669, media@choice.com.au

Images and video available via Dropbox: https://shwca.se/unsafebabysleepers

If you would like further details on this issue, you can read the full article here: www.choice.com.au/unsafebabysleepers
More information about the need for product safety law reform is here: https://www.choice.com.au/shopping/consumer-rights-and-advice/your-rights/articles/weak-product-safety-laws-in-australia