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AAP disappointed in CPSC's decision not to ban crib bumpers :

November 7, 2016

The Academy is strongly advising parents not to use padded crib bumpers despite a federal agency’s refusal to ban them.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) acknowledged the bumpers can be hazardous but stopped short of pulling them from store shelves.

“Urging parents not to purchase crib bumpers while allowing them to remain on the market is confusing, and inappropriately places the burden of safety on parents while needlessly exposing infants to risk of death,” said AAP President Benard P. Dreyer, M.D., FAAP.

Infants should sleep on their backs in a crib or bassinet with a firm mattress and fitted sheet and no other bedding or soft objects including bumpers. Infants should sleep on their backs in a crib or bassinet with a firm mattress and fitted sheet and no other bedding or soft objects including bumpers.

In September, CPSC staff released an analysis of 107 fatal and 282 non-fatal incidents from January 1990 through March 2016 that were associated with crib bumpers. Staff determined no action was needed. That conclusion was met with criticism from safe sleep experts who reviewed that evidence, including Rachel Y. Moon, M.D., FAAP, lead author of the Academy’s safe sleep policy statement. Released on Oct. 24, the policy reaffirms that crib bumpers pose a risk of suffocation, entrapment and strangulation.

On Nov. 3, the CPSC commission members released a statement saying they too disagreed with the staff’s conclusions.

“We strongly warn parents and caregivers not to use padded crib bumpers. ... We strongly believe that the risk of death from padded crib bumpers far outweighs any purported benefits,” they said.

However, the commission called for the development of a safety standard for bumpers in 2018 instead of an immediate ban.

Dr. Dreyer welcomed the CPSC’s warning but said it does not go far enough.

"Parents tell us that ‘if they sell them, they must be safe,’” Dr. Dreyer said. “Pediatricians and child health advocates will continue to call on the CPSC to protect infants by banning these dangerous products that serve no child health benefit.”

Others echoed his sentiments.

“Regulators are right to say that padded bumpers come with a clear risk of injury or death, and have no place in a baby's crib,” said William Wallace, policy analyst for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports. “But what kind of message does it send to consumers when these dangerous products are still on store shelves? It's time for them to go.”

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