The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently voted to ban the sale of padded crib bumpers and loose bedding that increases the risk of death by suffocation for infants in these cribs.
According to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on its website, the agency would be going ahead with a rule that bans the sale of padded bumpers and other types of loose beds in cribs that do not meet air flow standards. The Notice of Propose Rulemaking states that the current ATSM standards would be replaced with a more stringent safety standard that would reduce the risk of choking or suffocation for infants who are trapped between the mattress and the bumper. This scenario poses a serious risk that has already contributed to dozens of crib-related injuries and deaths involving infants who are placed in these cribs.
The most important change to the current rule would be the requirement that the padded crib bumper allow for a minimum airflow, just as with mesh liners. The lack of airflow can lead to suffocation when the infant is trapped between the bumper and mattress. Besides, the rule proposes to limit the thickness of the crib padded bumper to less than 2 inches. All bumpers would come with a firmness requirement.
There is no law that currently requires that crib bumper manufacturers test these products before selling them. This means that parents are forced to trust voluntary compliance by companies. The rule would end voluntary compliance, requiring companies to adhere to the CPSC rule before the sale of the product.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended against the use of crib bumpers, saying that these pose a serious risk of suffocation to babies. The group recommends that babies are put to sleep on their backs on a flat surface, free from crib bumpers and other loose bedding accessories.
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