Is Your Baby Safe? How Rolling is Altered by Commercial Infant Products
Every year in the United States approximately 3500 infants die from sudden infant death syndrome, ill-defined deaths, and accidental suffocation and strangulation. Some of these deaths are caused by commercial infant products on the market, where infants are able to roll over and asphyxiate. Since infants in western culture spend an increasing amount of time in commercial infant products, commercial infant gear is an important topic for safety concerns. Certain infant sleep products have already been banned due to the dangers they present for possible injuries and fatalities. However, this ban is limited only to products marketed for sleep and does not include all of the other similar products currently available. Research leading up to this ban, found that infants lying on different inclined surfaces have a greater change in muscle activation when compared to lying on a flat surface, like the ground. This indicates that infants may be able to achieve a roll more easily in certain product configurations. The purpose of this study is to determine how an infant’s movements and muscle activity is affected by different commercial infant products. Understanding how a product affects an infant’s rolling ability, will help determine what product design features may facilitate rolling. This can provide valuable information to ensure products for infants are designed safely and help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur each year.