Senate Approves Bill to Ban Crib Bumpers

March 28, 2022

The Senate on Wednesday approved a bill to ban the sale of padded crib bumpers, which have been deemed risky by public health experts.

The Safe Cribs Act, introduced by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), would prohibit making and distributing bumpers — soft pads made to protect babies from hard sides of cribs — which have been found to increase suffocation risk.

The bill will now head to the House of Representatives.

According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 107 babies died in cribs with bumpers between 1990 and 2016, and 282 nonfatal incidents with bumpers were reported, including near-misses for strangulation and suffocation.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping babies' cribs free of any objects, including bumpers.

Despite this, bumpers are still widely sold by retailers.

"The fact that these deadly products can still be found on shelves across the country is extremely confusing to new parents who don't believe stores would be selling them if they were truly dangerous to babies," Duckworth said in a statement.

A 2020 survey released by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that many parents were unaware of the dangers posed by crib bumpers and assumed they would be removed from stores if found unsafe.

Maryland banned the sale of bumpers in 2013, followed by Ohio in 2017. Chicago became the first city to ban them in 2011.

Sources

Portman.Senate.gov: "Portman, Duckworth Applaud Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Protect Infants from Deadly 'Crib Bumpers.'"

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: "Statement of Commissioner Elliot F. Kaye Regarding Release of Policy Paper on Hazards of Padded Crib Bumpers."

American Academy of Pediatrics: "Tips for Keeping Infants Safe During Sleep From the American Academy of Pediatrics."

JAMA Network Open: "Public Opinion on the Sale of Crib Bumpers."

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