Should crib bumpers be banned?

Should crib bumpers be banned?

The number of deaths caused by crib bumpers increased significantly from 2006 to 2012, causing researchers at Washington University School of Medicine and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to call for a nationwide ban on the item.

This recent study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics, revealed that of the 48 infant deaths specifically attributed to crib bumpers between 1985 and 2012, approximately 23 occurred between 2006 and 2012.

“Bumpers are more dangerous than we originally thought,” study author Dr. Bradley T. Thach said in a news release. “The infant deaths we studied could have been prevented if the cribs were empty.”

Most infants died due to suffocation because their noses and mouths were covered by a bumper or were between a bumper and a crib mattress, according to the study. Several health organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Institute of Health recommend against the use of bumpers.

Dr. Aaron Traeger, a pediatrician with Advocate Medical Group at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center in Normal, Ill., encourages safe crib practices by advising parents and caregivers to keep any soft objects, loose bedding and bumper pads out of the crib.

“No stuffed animals, no toys, no extra blankets,” Traeger cautions.

There are currently no federal regulations regarding crib bumpers, but Maryland and the city of Chicago have both banned the sale of crib bumpers within the past five years.

Researchers suggested that CPSC should follow this example and ban crib bumpers throughout the country.

“There is one sure-fire way to prevent infant deaths from crib bumpers,” Dr. Thach said. “Don’t use them, ever.”

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  1. YES !
    If it has comprised one life of a child that’s 1 too many .

    Why would anyone want to even use it after claims of it’s potential danger ?

    • Lynn Hutley

      I believe they were originally intended to keep babies’ heads from getting stuck in the slats of the crib but federal regulations passed in the 1970s made it such that the slats were close enough together that this wouldn’t happen. You are correct – one is too many if it can be avoided.

  2. The Government has gotten out of control about banning things. I have several children that I have used the bumpers with when they were infants. Parents need to be more attentive to their children. With both parents working, the child had more or less become a trophy, that they can’t wait to hand over to the government to care for when they become school age. The bumpers have saved my babies from bumps, bruises & when they first try to pull themselves up, it prevented them from loosing that precious 1st tooth by banging it against the crib rail. Most bumpers are very light weight & porous, So unless they have it wrapped around their head a few times because they have been left unattended in the crib too long ( used as a baby sitting device, instead of just for sleep) with no crib monitor…….. I’ve seen people who pick their baby up from day care, & put there kid right in the crib when they get home with a propped bottle!!! During cold nights, that bumper prevents drafts from entering the crib. What anout people who have cats, that are known for suffocating babies? Are we going to have to outlaw people who have cats from having children or cats from people who have infants? I had an infant bucket style car seat, brand new, passed government inspection, that while I was carrying it by the handle with my infant, the handle broke loose!!!!!

About the Author

Lynn Hutley
Lynn Hutley

Lynn Hutley, health enews contributor, is coordinator of public affairs and marketing at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in central Illinois. Having grown up in a family-owned drug store, it is no surprise that Lynn has spent almost 18 years working in the health care industry. She has a degree in human resources management from Illinois State University and is always ready to tackle Trivia Night.