Hidden Hazards of Placing Babies in Adult Beds


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207


May 3, 2002

Release # 02-153

CPSC Consumer Hotline: (800) 638-2772

CPSC Media Contact: Nychelle Fleming, (301) 504-0580 Ext. 1192

JPMA Media Contact: Jennifer Szwalek, (856) 638-0420

CPSC, JPMA Launch Campaign About the Hidden Hazards of Placing Babies in
Adult Beds

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
and the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) today
launched a national safety campaign aimed at reducing deaths associated
with placing babies in adult beds. The announcement was made at a press
conference at the annual International Juvenile Products Show in Dallas,
Texas. CPSC data shows that from 1999 through 2001 at least 180 children
under the age of two died after being placed in adult beds.

The national safety campaign encourages safe sleeping practices
for babies. The campaign will be targeted to reach new and expectant
parents, day care providers, hospitals and health departments.

"Many parents may be unaware of the hidden dangers associated with
placing babies in adult beds," said Acting CPSC Chairman Thomas Moore.
"We are warning parents that simply pushing an adult bed against a wall
or lining the edges of a bed with pillows won't protect their babies.
In fact, these practices place infants in danger of suffocation and

Robert Waller, Jr. executive vice president of JPMA said, "We are
pleased to launch this national safety campaign with the CPSC to help
inform parents of the hidden hazards of placing babies in adult beds.
Our members hope to contribute to this effort by helping to get the word
out with information provided to consumers at retail outlets

The CPSC data shows that babies placed in adult beds are at risk
of dying from several hidden hazards including:

  • Entrapment between the bed and wall, or between the bed and another

  • Entrapment involving headboards, footboards or bed frames.

  • Soft bedding-related hazards (such as suffocation on a pillow).

  • Falls (sometimes into a pile of clothing or plastic, resulting in

  • Overlaying of the baby by another child or adult in the bed.

The campaign will include a video news release (VNR) that will be
fed to stations nationwide highlighting the hazards associated with
placing babies in adult beds and safety pamphlets/posters distributed
through retailers, hospitals, health departments and various grass roots

Acting CPSC Chairman Thomas Moore said "Many of these tragic
deaths associated with placing babies in adult beds are preventable."

The CPSC recommends the following safety tips to ensure that
babies under 24 months sleep safely:

  • Don't place a baby to sleep in an adult bed.

    • Hidden hazard: The baby could become entrapped between the bed & wall,
      or in headboards, footboards, bedframes. Babies could also fall
      or suffocate in soft bedding.

  • Place babies to sleep on their backs in a crib that meets current
    safety standards and has a firm, tight-fitting mattress. If you use a
    portable crib or playpen, make sure it meets current safety standards.
    Use only the mattress or pad provided by the manufacturer.

  • Babies should be placed to sleep on their backs, not their stomachs.

    • Hidden hazard: According to the Back to Sleep Campaign, "Babies
      sleeping on their stomachs seem to be more likely to succumb to SIDS
      (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)."

  • Don't place a baby to sleep on soft bedding.

    • Hidden Hazard: The baby could suffocate. Do not use soft bedding such
      as pillows and thick quilts and comforters for infants under 12 months

For additional safety information on safe sleeping practices for
babies, contact the CPSC at (800) 638-2772 or write to CPSC, Washington,
DC 20207 or visit our web site at

For technical questions about the satellite feed, contact Karl Celarier
(800) 666-7882. This is feed is sponsored by CPSC. It is for your free
and unrestricted use.


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from
unreasonable risks of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer
products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product
or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or
CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's web site at