Did you know a
popular bedding product could put your baby at risk? The American Academy of Pediatrics recently
released new guidelines that warn bumper pads should not be used in cribs
because babies can suffocate against or be strangled by them. The new
stance was part of updated policies to create safer sleep environments
for babies and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
Despite the warning from the pediatrician group, the safety of bumper pads
is still being hotly debated. The trade group for makers and sellers of
infant bedding says bumper pads, which wrap around the inside of a crib
and tie to crib slats, help prevent head injuries and limb entrapment.
It also disputes there is evidence that the products can cause babies
But the academy’s new guidelines state there is no evidence that
bumper pads prevent injuries and say they pose a potential risk of suffocation,
strangulation, and entrapment.
“We weighed the pros and cons and the evidence, and felt that the
safest thing would be to keep bumpers out of the crib altogether,”
said Dr. Fern R. Hauck, a member of the academy’s SIDS task force
and a professor of family medicine at the University of Virginia.
According to an investigation by the Chicago Tribune, federal regulators
with the Consumer Product Safety Commission have received reports for
years of babies suffocating against bumper pads, yet they have failed
to warn parents or investigate all the deaths. The Tribune claims regulators
have dragged their feet in taking a stance on the safety of bumper pads,
saying they are trying to determine if there is a scientific link between
bumper pads and suffocation, or if blankets, pillows, or medical issues
caused the babies’ deaths.
In response to the Tribune’s stories, the city of Chicago and state
of Maryland recently prohibited sales of crib bumpers, often packaged
as part of bedding sets.
Bumpers were originally made to cover spaces between crib slats that were
too far apart. Regulations changed in the 1970s, mandating that slats
be spaced closely enough that babies wouldn’t fall out or get their
heads caught. So while the products are no longer needed to protect babies,
they are still widely sold.
Source: Baltimore Sun