Parents should not use infant head-shaping pillows to change a baby’s head shape or symmetry, the Food and Drug Administration advised on Thursday, warning that these products can create an "unsafe sleep environment" for babies and raise their "risk of suffocation and death," as well as of sudden infant death syndrome.
Head shaping pillows typically look like a small mat that slopes downward in the middle to an indent or hole designed to cradle the back of an infant’s head. They often resemble a misshapen donut but can come in a variety of shapes, including hearts or ovals with animal-shaped ears.
Not all such pillows are labeled as "head shaping" — some are called baby head support pillows, head cushions, flat head pillows, or anti-flat head pillows. No such products have been approved, the FDA said.
The National Institutes of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that infants sleep without any pillows, toys, loose bedding or soft objects nearby. Instead, they should be on their backs in a bare crib on a flat surface.
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