Update: President Joe Biden signed the ban into law on May 16, 2022.
Crib bumpers and inclined sleepers soon may be pulled from the shelves after years of AAP advocacy.
The U.S. Senate has approved the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which bans manufacturing and distributing both products. The legislation already has been passed by the House and now goes to President Joe Biden for final approval.
AAP President Moira A. Szilagyi, M.D., Ph.D., FAAP, called the congressional approval a “monumental victory for children’s health.”
“Despite what the science shows, crib bumpers and inclined sleepers have remained on the market and store shelves, misleading parents into thinking they are safe and leading to dozens of preventable infant deaths,” Dr. Szilagyi said in a statement. “No family should ever experience this tragedy.”
Bumpers can lead to suffocation and entrapment, the very hazards they were intended to prevent. Because of changes in crib manufacturing, they are not needed to prevent children from putting their head between the slats on a crib.
Inclined sleepers have been the subject of numerous recalls in recent years. Infants may fall asleep in a position that can restrict their airway or can roll out and suffocate.
The AAP recommends infants sleep on their backs on a flat, firm surface with no soft bedding or loose objects. In addition, infants should share a room with their caregiver without sharing a bed.
Dr. Szilagyi said she is grateful to the pediatricians who advocated for banning dangerous sleep products and the lawmakers who helped the legislation win approval.
“By banning the sale of dangerous and unsafe crib bumpers and inclined sleepers nationwide, this AAP-championed legislation is a true game changer when it comes to protecting infants from products that have no place in a safe sleep environment,” she said.
- AAP policy SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment,
- Safe to Sleep campaign
- Information for parents from HealthyChildren.org on safe sleep and inclined sleepers and crib bumpers
- Information on Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome from the CDC