Bassinets have their own risks for infants

July 14, 2008

An analysis published in the online Journal of Pediatrics identified the potential risks for infants associated with being placed in a bassinet.

An analysis published in the online Journal of Pediatrics identified the potential risks for infants associated with being placed in a bassinet.

From 1990 to 2004, the investigators found that 53 infant deaths were reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission that involved bassinets. In 85% of cases, the cause of death was recorded as anoxia, asphyxiation, or suffocation, while 9.4% of deaths were due to sudden infant death syndrome.

In addition, 37% of infants who died were placed prone for sleep, and 50% were prone when found dead. Additional items in the bassinet, such as soft bedding, were noted in 74% of cases, and bassinets with mechanical problems were noted in 17% of cases.

"The risk of sudden unexpected death in infants who sleep in bassinets can be reduced by following American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines, including positioning infants supine and avoiding soft bedding in bassinets," the investigators concluded. "In addition, parents must ensure that the bassinet is mechanically sound and that no objects that can lead to suffocation are in or near the bassinet."