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Weighted sleep products for babies are 'not safe': Health Canada

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Some companies are making weighted sleep products for babies, but there's concern they could be unsafe for your child.

Even though weighted blankets and other weighted baby sleep products are currently for sale, health professionals say they're dangerous and urge against using them.

Health Canada advises against "weighted swaddles, sleep sacks and blankets, as they are not safe" for babies.

"One of the risks is suffocation as babies can get trapped under the weight of the blanket and not be able to breathe or get enough air," Dr. Wanda Abreu, a pediatrician, told CTV News Toronto.

A baby's body is also inherently different from an adult's, and putting weight on its chest is problematic.

"The weight on their chest, ribcage and abdomen can limit the ability for them to move the muscles required for breathing and this can lead to asphyxiation," said Abreu.

Two manufacturers of weighted sleep products for babies, Nested Bean and Dreamland Baby, both told Consumer Reports a lack of reported injuries related to their products shows they are safe.

However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the U.S. said there has been at least one infant death involving a weighted product.

"Parents will be even more trusting of products they see for sale if they have a label that says this meets industry standards, maybe not realizing that those standards are largely written by the companies that are making and selling those products," said Lauren Kirchner with Consumer Reports.

It leaves new parents, like Linda Ramirez, looking for anything to help their infants sleep in the dark.

"It's so scary that they're marketed as safe when doctors are against it," Ramirez said.

Doctors recommend that babies only sleep alone, on their back, on a firm and flat surface, and with nothing else around them.

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