Soft bedding and playpens: A dangerous combination

Report Finds Soft Bedding a Factor in Playpen Deaths. CPSC, Mattel Launch Campaign to Alert Caregivers

The findings emphasize the need for caregivers to be aware that the same safe sleeping guidelines that they follow for their babies' cribs should be followed in these playpens. That means placing baby on his back on a firm, flat mattress and not adding extra mattresses or any soft bedding, such as pillows, quilts, or comforters.

"At Mattel, the well being of children is an inherent part of the reason for our organization to exist and we reflect this in all that we do," said Jim Walter, vice president of corporate product integrity for Mattel. "We are happy to be working with the CPSC on the 'Sleep Safe, Play Safe' campaign."

The CPSC, in partnership with Mattel, is kicking off a "Sleep Safe, Play Safe" campaign to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers associated with soft bedding and extra mattresses or cushions in playpens.

The campaign includes a Public Service Announcement (PSA), featuring a lullaby by singer/songwriter Tom Paxton, that will be distributed to 3,400 radio stations nationwide. CPSC will reach out to practicing pediatricians and organizations that are influential in educating parents about ways to keep their infants healthy and safe. Mattel will send more than a million posters and brochures to practicing pediatricians across the country and to organizations who work with or serve parents and childcare providers.

Other hazards identified in the study were playpens that were in poor condition, had broken or protruding hardware or had side rails that collapsed creating an entrapment hazard.

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