A Story In The New York Times About Baby Sleep Products Summarizes Items That Have Been Deemed Unsafe, And It Looks Like Crib Bumpers Might End Up On The List Of Items That Aren't Safe For Your Baby's Crib.

A story in the New York Times about baby sleep products summarizes items that have been deemed unsafe, and it looks like crib bumpers might end up on the list of items that aren't safe for your baby's crib.
A story in the New York Times about baby sleep products summarizes items that have been deemed unsafe, and it looks like crib bumpers might end up on the list of items that aren't safe for your baby's crib. In December, the Consumer Products Safety Commission banned drop side cribs, a move that was long overdue, in my opinion. At least 30 babies have died because of them over the past 10 years. Are crib bumpers next? If one researcher's findings are accurate, then I hope so. When we adopted our son, I'd heard that crib bumpers could pose a suffocation hazard for babies. However, because he was ten months old when we brought him home, we felt he wasn't at risk. As it turned out, a crib bumper was a lifesaver because of the manner in which he slept - unbelievably fitfully. If he had been younger, though, we wouldn't have used a crib bumper. The New York Times article refers to research on crib bumpers conducted by Dr. Bradly Thach, pediatrics professor at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Thach reviewed ten years worth of Consumer Products Safety Commission data and concluded that crib bumpers were responsible for 27 infant deaths during that period of time (1995-2005). Dr. Thach determined that crib bumpers could cause suffocation deaths and therefore warned that parents should not place them in cribs. The CPSC disagreed:
The Consumer Products Safety Commission initially ignored the findings. Last summer, it reached the same conclusion as a trade group representing product manufacturers, which asserted that other factors, like a crib crowded with pillows or babies sleeping on their stomachs, might have been a factor in those deaths, rather than the bumpers. As a result, most parents remained unaware of the debate over the safety of crib bumpers. (Source: NYT article)
However, the CPSC has "reversed itself" and will further investigate crib bumpers. I'm an err-on-the-side-of-caution mama when it comes to basic decisions. For me, if there's a chance that my infant could suffocate as the result of a crib bumper, I wouldn't use it. While a few organizations disagree that crib bumpers caused the infant deaths and instead point to pillows or blankets that were also in the crib, my feeling is: Why risk it? Regardless of your decision about crib bumpers, remember never to leave stuffed animals, blankets, pillows or anything else in the crib with your infant. These things absolutely pose a suffocation hazard. Other recent warnings about baby sleep products:
  • Sleep positioners. The FDA warned against using them in September, stating they have caused infants to suffocate.
  • Baby monitor cords. In October, the CPSC noted six deaths that resulted from strangulation and cautioned parents to keep the cords away from the crib.
  • Drop side cribs. The CSPC banned them in December.
>>Do you (or will you) use a crib bumper in your baby's crib?

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