FDA warns parents against using 'head-shaping pillows' because they can suffocate and KILL babies

FDA Warns Parents Not to Use ‘Head Shaping Pillows’ Because They Can Suffocate and KILL Babies

  • The Food and Drug Administration said the pillows had no “medical purpose.”
  • Parents who have one should ‘throw it away’ and not ‘donate or give’ to others
  • The agency warned that pillows increase the risk of a baby suffocating while sleeping.

Parents were told today to stop using ‘head molding pillows’ on their babies because they can suffocate and kill them.

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Pillows, created with an indentation or hole in the center, are often advertised as capable of treating flat head syndrome.

About one in five babies develop the condition, usually while sleeping or during childbirth, because their skulls are so soft.

But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a safety alert that the pillows have no “medical purpose” and can be deadly.

Parents who have one should “throw it away,” the agency said, and “not donate it or give it to anyone else.”

Agency officials said the shape of the pillows, which are not approved by the FDA, “may contribute to the risk of suffocation and death.”

The angle of the pillows can press babies’ chins against their chests and risk blocking their airways.

In the image above there is a pillow to shape a baby’s head. Parents are told not to use them and to throw them away if they have one (stock image)

What is flat head syndrome?

About one in five babies develop flat head syndrome by the time they are a few months old, estimates suggest.

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The condition is when one side of the head becomes flat, giving it an asymmetrical appearance.

It happens because the skull bones in babies are still soft.

These can change if there is persistent pressure in an area, which can come on when sleeping.

Doctors say it’s “no big concern” as it doesn’t harm development and the bones will correct themselves.

Flat head syndrome, medically called plagiocephaly or brachycephaly, is triggered because babies’ skulls are still soft.

If they spend a lot of time on one side of their head, such as when they sleep, the persistent pressure can cause the bones to change shape.

Premature babies are also at higher risk for the condition because the skull bones are softer.

Doctors say that when this happens, “it’s not a big concern” and it doesn’t harm development.

Over time, the bones naturally fall back into place, they add.

The FDA issued the warning Thursday after learning head shaping pillows were being advertised online and claimed to “correct” the condition.

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Manufacturers have also been contacted to voice their concerns.

Neither product was named in the alert.

The pillows put babies at risk of sudden unexpected infant death, they warned.

This is the leading cause of death in childhood, with about 3,400 babies dying each year in the US.

The FDA said in its statement: ‘The FDA is not aware of any demonstrated benefit from the use of infant head shaping pillows for any medical purpose.

“The use of head shaping pillows can create an unsafe sleeping environment for babies and may contribute to the risk of suffocation and death.”

Many grocery stores have yet to pull head-shaping pillows off their shelves.

But doctors hope this could now lead to the products being removed.

Dr. Sarah Schaffer, a pediatrician at Children’s Nationwide Hospital in Washington DC, told CNN, “Hopefully this recommendation will lead to their removal from these websites.”

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