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Crib Bumpers: Are They Safe for Babies?

Should you equip your child’s crib with a bumper? According to USA Today, one mother, Laura Maxwell, intends to file a products liability lawsuit against a crib bumper manufacturer after Preston, her 7-week-old baby, died from asphyxiation when his face got caught between the mattress and crib bumper. Her son ended up against the bumper after rolling off a “sleep positioner,” an accessory that is supposed to keep babies on their backs but has been linked to fatal suffocations. Maxwell and her husband also plan to sue the sleep positioner manufacturer for wrongful death.
While the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics are urging parents to not use “puffy” bumpers, both groups have yet to say “don’t” use them. Some consumer and child safety groups, however, believe that the CPSC should take a tougher stance. They say that crib bumpers—the puffier ones, in particular—pose a child suffocation hazard.
Yet the information available at this time as to whether or not crib bumpers are truly a safety hazard appears to be conflicting and unclear. The CPSC says that in the 28 infant deaths that it investigated where bumpers were present it couldn’t say for sure that the bumper caused the deaths. However, a 2007 report in the Journal of Pediatrics found that 27 babies had died because of crib bumpers. Still others have said that the crib bumpers may prevent head injuries and leg fractures.
This latest debate, as well as the recent recalls involving drop-side cribs and other infant products, can’t help but raise questions regarding whether or not manufacturers are doing enough to make sure that the products they are making for babies and toddlers are safe enough. Why are so many baby accessories and furniture turning out to be possible choking or suffocation hazards?
When a Cuddly Crib Puts the Baby in Danger, The Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2011
Crib bumpers present risk and little likely benefit, safety advocates say, USA Today, April 26, 2011
Related Web Resources:
Consumer Product Safety Commission

American Academy of Pediatrics
Juvenile Product Manufacturers Association

Our child injury lawyers represent families whose children have gotten hurt because of defective nursery products. Contact our products liability law firm today.

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