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CPSC Fails to Ban Crib Bumpers

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.