Crib Bumpers Now Banned in Chicago
The babies of Chicago just got a little bit safer. Yesterday, the Windy City became the first to ban the sale of crib bumper pads due to the suffocation hazards they are known to pose, reports the Chicago Tribune.
Though bumpers are commonly marketed as stylish nursery decor, recent history indicates they are, in fact, a serious threat and can easily block a baby’s ability to breath. In fact, according to the Tribune, the National Center for Child Death Review has received 14 reports of infant suffocation due to the presence of a bumper pad in the past 3 years.
City Council members James Balcer, and George Cardenas said they are eager to get the message out that these popular accessories simply aren’t safe. “If we were to wait for federal regulators, it probably would never get done,” Balcer said. “We have a responsibility here as government to address issues like this.”
Indeed, Federal regulators have resisted taking a firm stance on the safety of bumper pads, and are reportedly ”trying to determine if there is a scientific link between bumper pads and suffocations, or if factors such as blankets, pillows or medical issues played a primary role in babies’ deaths.” In fact, as we reported in March, the Tribune identified 17 cases of infant deaths that the Consumer Product Safety Commission failed to investigate when they were fully-aware that crib bumper pads played roles in the fatalities.
At the end of the day, most experts seem to agree, there should only be two things in your baby’s crib: a firm, tight-fitting mattress and a crib sheet. “It’s tempting to make it look cute and cozy with lots of blankets, stuffed animals, and pillows, but they’re all suffocation hazards for kids under 1 year old,” says Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. The bottom line: the suffocation risk of bumper pads outweighs their benefits.
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