Wednesday, March 30th, 2011
The Consumer Product Safety Commission failed to investigate 17 cases of infant deaths when they were fully-aware that crib bumper pads, a popular nursery product, played roles in the fatalities, reports today’s Chicago Tribune.
According to the Tribune’s breaking news report, the CPSC is currently deciding whether bumpers pose suffocation risks, but have disturbingly avoided investigating all of deaths they have on record involving the padded crib liners. Medical examiners and coroners have confirmed that bumper pads were indeed involved in the aforementioned 17 deaths by suffocation the agency has on file.
The CPSC claims these deaths cannot be entirely attributed to bumpers because of other items that may have been in the child’s crib at the time of death. According to the Tribune, Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said officials are examining 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 the babies’ deaths.
One might argue the defensiveness of an agency, who claims it’s mission is to protect consumers from hazardous products, seems strangely lacksidaisical regarding this matter, despite urging from the American Academy of Pediatrics and other parental safety groups to take a firmer stance.
“If the baby was found with the face smushed up against the bumper pad, then I don’t understand the relevance of the pillow or the blanket,” said Dr. Rachel Moon, a pediatrician at Children’s National Medical Center and researcher for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
While identifying bumpers as the sole cause of death in these instances may be difficult, isn’t it better to be safe than sorry? Dr. Marion Burton, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics, seems to think so. He feels, “federal regulators don’t need to base safety considerations on ’cause and effect,’ a high bar to meet scientifically, when there is a strong association between bumper pads and suffocations.”
He concludes, “It’s a potential hazard, so don’t have it in the child’s environment. I can’t think of any reason to have them.”
Do you think it’s better to be safe than sorry and avoid bumpers entirely or do you feel the popular products cannot be fully blamed in these cases and a deeper investigation is warranted? Tell us where you stand.Add a Comment