CPSC gets death data from different sources, and only provides averages over a three year period. The data also lags behind injury data, so the average number of deaths from 2005-2007 was 88 a year, with 60 of those in sleep environments such as cribs (36), bassinets (14) and play yards (10).
CPSC notes that the deaths and injuries, while involving a product, may not always be caused by product defects, but by other factors such as extra bedding. Check out KID's safe sleep tips or CPSC's new video for more information on creating a safe sleep environment.
The new database that launches in March 2011 will provide additional injury data to study along with this emergency room data.