As San Diego product liability lawyers, we are disappointed that the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has failed to officially ban
crib bumpers. While the baby product is advertised as a way to protect
infants from bumping into or getting stuck in crib rails, it is also associated
with numerous strangulation and suffocation deaths.
According to published research, crib bumpers have been directly responsible
for the suffocation or strangulation deaths of 77 infants. In addition,
146 infants have suffered serious injuries.
In its recent statement, the
CPSC acknowledged that crib bumpers are dangerous, citing that there is a clear risk of injury or death associated with
padded crib bumpers. The agency also warned parents against using them,
stating: “We strongly advise the public to stop using padded crib
bumpers. In our view, they do nothing more than contribute to the deadly
clutter in many of our nation’s cribs.”
Despite the warning, the CPSC did not prohibit the sale of crib bumpers.
The decision disappointed many child safety advocates, including the American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). It also raised concerns that failing to remove
crib bumpers from the marketplace implies to parents that they are indeed safe.
“Urging parents not to purchase crib bumpers while allowing them
to remain on the market is confusing, and inappropriately places the burden
of safety on parents while needlessly exposing infants to risk of death,”
said AAP president Benard Dreyer, MD, FAAP. “Parents tell us that
‘if they sell them, they must be safe.’ Pediatricians and
child health advocates will continue to call on the CPSC to protect infants
by banning these dangerous products that serve no child health benefit.”
For confused parents and caregivers, the CPSC and AAP do agree on the most
important message: bare is best. The safest sleep environment for children
is a properly assembled crib with only an appropriately sized mattress
and a snugly fitted sheet. Parents and caregivers should never place soft
bedding or other padded objects such as padded bumpers, pillows, sleep
positioners, stuffed animals, or cushions in a child’s crib, bassinet
or play yard.
If your child or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to
a recalled or otherwise unsafe children’s product, you may be entitled
to compensation. To discuss your legal rights, contact
a San Diego product liability lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage
for a free consultation.