Researchers call for ban on crib bumpers

Alexandria, VA – Injuries related to crib bumpers are on the rise, and some researchers want the products banned.

As part of a study, former researchers from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and Washington University School of Medicine examined bumper-related incidents and found that 48 infants died from 1985 to 2012 due to the pads, which are intended to prevent infants from hitting their heads, falling between crib slats and entangling their arms and legs. Researchers concluded that if bumpers had not been used, 32 deaths could have been prevented. Most infants died from suffocation.

From 2006 to 2012, 23 deaths occurred – 3 times higher than the average of eight deaths in each of the three previous seven-year periods. An additional 146 infants nearly suffocated, choked or were strangled in bumper incidents from 1990 to 2012.

A review of information from the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths found 32 additional deaths between 2008 and 2011. Due to lack of data, the total number of deaths is likely higher, researchers noted. Most incidents were due to poor design or make, such as lack of ties, disconnected decorations or loose stuffing.

Researchers recommended that CPSC ban the sale of crib bumpers.

The study was published online Nov. 24 in The Journal of Pediatrics.