The study conducted by Washington University School of Medicine says that 23 crib-bumper related deaths were reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from 2006 to 2012.
“Crib bumpers are killing kids. They’re more dangerous than we originally thought,” said Dr. Bradley Thach, senior author of the study and professor emeritus of pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine.
The authors of the study also concluded that the number of deaths could actually be higher due to
Another U.S. database recorded 32 crib bumper deaths from 2008 and 2011.
The dangers of crib bumpers include suffocation and strangulation.
While sleeping, babies can press their faces against the fabric or their heads could get trapped between the crib bumpers and the side of their crib.
The long strings or ribbons which connect bumpers pads to cribs could also pose strangulation hazards.
The Canadian Paediatric Society urges parents to refrain from placing all sorts of soft materials in their babies’ cribs.
This not only includes bumper pads but also fluffy blankets, stuffed animals and pillows.
Deaths could have been prevented
According to research, 32 of the 48 deaths recorded from 1985-2012 could actually have been prevented if crib bumpers had not been used.
This further cements the need to ban this accessory since safety warnings and design changes have done nothing these past several years to prevent infant deaths.
Crib paddings remain a common purchase for parents so, according to the study’s authors, it’s important to raise awareness of its dangers and to ban them altogether.
So far in the U.S., only the states of Maryland and Chicago have banned the sale of crib paddings.
“A ban on crib bumpers would reinforce the message that no soft bedding of any kind should be placed inside a baby’s crib,” said Thach. “There is one sure-fire way to prevent infant deaths from crib bumpers: don’t use them, ever.”
The safest way is to keep crib accessories to a minimum. Fitted crib sheets and ‘sleep sacks’ or wearable blankets are still the safer accessories of choice.
Read: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: SIDS causes and tips for prevention
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