Pediatricians warn against using bumper pads in cribs
The nation's American Academy of Pediatricians issued a recommendation on Tuesday, suggesting that parents not use bumper pads in cribs. The doctors pointed out that the bumper pads are a suffocation hazard and apparently can contibute to the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They are not effective in preventing injuries caused by limbs being trapped in slats. The City of Chicago has already issued a ban on bumper pads and the State of Maryland is considering a ban.
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association is arguing for a "voluntary standard" that would limit the thickness of bumper pads, however, the physicians strongly disagree with this position. In our experience "voluntary standards" don't work: they allow the victimization of unsophisticated or uninformed consumers by marginal and third-world manufacturers. In states like Michigan that don't allow product liability actions against retailers in most situations, consumers have no protection from cheap, unregulated products.
The CPSC has indicating it is taking a "fresh look" at crib bumper pads this year, and, under pressure from manufacturers, probably won't take a position until several more children have died. Manufacturers sell more than 200,000 bumper pad sets per year, realizing total sales in excess of 50 million dollars.