Push to Ban Crib Bumpers in the U.S. Reenergized with the Findings of a New Study

Push to Ban Crib Bumpers in the U.S. Reenergized with the Findings of a New Study

Crib bumpers have caused at least 77 infant deaths since 1985, study finds.

Crib bumpers have caused at least 77 infant deaths since 1985, study finds.

Crib bumpers may be the single deadliest item inside of baby cribs, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics. This study, which has triggered a new call to ban crib bumpers in the U.S., has reportedly discovered that, from 1985 through 2012, at least 77 infants have died as a result of being suffocated by crib bumpers.

This study has also revealed that:

  • The vast majority of the deaths were caused by crib bumpers alone.
  • When other items may have contributed to infant suffocation (along with the crib bumper), researchers found that, had the bumper not been there in the first place, a significant number of these fatalities could have been prevented.
  • Crib bumpers have caused far more crib suffocations than baby blankets, small pillows and stuffed animals.
  • Since 1990, crib bumpers have contributed to at least 146 infant deaths in the U.S.
  • From 2006 to 2012, reports regarding crib bumper deaths in the U.S. have tripled (though researchers cautioned that this surge may be related to more accurate reporting and record keeping, rather than an increase in the actual death rates).

Given these findings, the study’s authors concluded that:

To prevent these deaths and ALTEs [apparent life-threatening events], we recommend that CPSC ban traditional crib bumpers for sale in the US quickly. Preventing bumper deaths and injuries will only be possible if traditional bumpers are removed from the marketplace at the national level.

Commenting on these findings, Bradley Thach, a retired pediatrician who has authored studies on the dangers of crib bumpers, stated:

Parents walk into the store, and they look at the bumpers in the cribs, and they say, ‘Well, if it wasn’t safe, they wouldn’t be selling them.’ But that’s not the situation… The Consumer Product Safety Commission has the means and authority to regulate this. If they banned the bumper sales, that would correct the problem largely.

Banning Crib Bumpers Will Likely Be an Uphill Battle

Despite the above findings, consumer safety advocates may have an uphill battle in getting the CPSC to officially ban crib bumpers. Just one reason for this includes that the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association has yet to issue an opinion regarding the risks associated with crib bumpers, with its official position being that it does “not know of any infant deaths directly attributed to crib bumpers.”

What do you think about this study’s findings? Do you think it’s time to ban crib bumpers in the U.S.? Post your comments on our Facebook & Google+ pages.

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