Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is fighting to place a ban on crib bumpers. Crib bumpers are pads that can be attached inside the crib to cushion babies from crib bars. Since 2008, there have been 14 infant deaths linked to crib bumper pads. Meanwhile, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in a span of 20 years, has received 52 reports of infant deaths in which bumper pads were mentioned but not necessarily ruled as the cause, according to a report released in July.
Babies can suffocate or be strangled if they roll against the crib bumper, press their faces against the bumper, wedge their heads between the pad and mattress or crib side, or if their necks get wrapped by the tie that secures the bumper to the crib.
The CPSC is currently working to gauge the potential harm of crib bumpers, but they suggest that parents stop using these bumpers right away. Madigan says that manufacturers should not wait to take action until regulators decide if the bumpers should be used, and is urging manufacturers to stop the production of crib bumpers. Immediate action is necessary due to the number of infant deaths and injuries attributed to the pads.
Federal regulators have known for years that bumper pads pose a potential suffocation hazard, but have failed to warn parents of the dangers, and bedding manufacturers have yet to take action. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American SIDS Institute and the Canadian Health Department have all urged parents not to use crib bumpers.
While proper labeling, recalls and regulations are important for safety of children’s products, manufacturers have a responsibility to ensure only safe products reach the marketplace, especially when such products have the potential to cause catastrophic injury or death. The potential hazards posed by cribs bumpers flooding retail store shelves highlight the inadequacy of current safety protocols. There is simply no excuse for companies to sell dangerous products, such as crib bumpers, to consumers. The burden must be on manufacturers and retailers, not consumers, to identify hazards before their products enter the channels of commerce.
If you or a family member have suffered significant personal injuries or death as the result of a defective product, such as a crib bumper, contact the law office of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call (617) 742-1900 in the Boston area, or for clients in greater Massachusetts, New England, or other states across the U.S., call toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.