New warning about popular baby pillows

WESTCHESTER-WABC The crescent-shaped pillows are used to prop up babies and are even marketed as helpful during nursing.

But now, it seems the pillows were present when several babies in Westchester died unexpectedly.

Eyewitness News reporter Marcus Solis has the story from White Plains.

The district attorney's office investigates any suspicious death of a child, and it found three cases linked to the infant pillows. Now, while a crime may not have been committed, officials say it was the possible misuse of a common baby product with deadly results.

A Boppy is a brand name for an infant pillow shaped like a crescent. They are tremendously popular because of their versatility.

"It helped me position the baby when I was nursing," parent Mary Potenza said. "And then after I stopped nursing, we would put it on the floor, and it would help her sit up."

But a report by the Westchester County district attorney shows there were three fatalities linked to the pillows in 2006. In each case, the baby suffered Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, commonly called SIDS.

"Two of those deaths involved children who were sleeping propped up on the pillow," Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore said. "And the third death involved a child who was put to sleep in a crib, and nearby the child was a nursing pillow."

Doctors say that when it comes to sleeping, there should be nothing in a baby's crib until at least age 1.

"We don't want anything to impede the baby's mouth or nose when they're sleeping," pediatrician Dr. Mason Gomberg said.

It may sound like common sense, and Boppy even has a warning on its Web site about using the pillow as a sleep aid. It's also included right on the labeling. But we found at least one parent unaware of the risk.

"She could move when she was very little, so I didn't worry that much about that," parent Amanda Burrousgh said. "Maybe I should have."

Well besides never using the pillow as a sleep aid, parents are reminded to put their babies on their backs. Since the Back to Sleep campaign was launched in1992, the rate of SIDS has dropped by 50 percent.

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