Not many people think they are putting their child in harms way when they purchase a soft, brightly colored bumper pad for the crib that holds their most precious possession. A press release from Medical News at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., stated that a study is appearing in The Journal of Pediatrics claims that most if not all crib bumper pads for infants and young children are unsafe and can be lethal.
Three United States Consumer Product Safety Commission data-bases were reviewed by researchers for deaths related to crib bumper pads and crib related injuries. In the years between 1985 and 2005 there were 27 accidental deaths related to poor fitting bumper pads or unsafe cribs and bedding materials. Authorities examined the deaths and injuries of children from 1 month old through 2 years of age. They attributed suffocation and or strangulation by bumper pads or bumper pad ties. There were also 25 non-fatal injuries attributed to crib bumper pads.
Deaths investigated with formal investigation found 11 infants died form suffocation when their faces rested against the bumper pad, 13 babies died from being wedged between bumper pad and possibly another object such as a pillow or a stuffed animal. Three babies were found to have died from strangulation on a bumper pad tie that might have exceeded the 9″ recommendation.Researchers also examined 22 retail cribs selling on the market at the present time and found features in virtually all of them that could be dangerous or even fatal. Bumper pads were checked for softness. Researchers also measured the potential space that could be found between mattress and bumper pad. The width of bumper pads was also measured along with the length of the ties that hold the padding in place in the crib. They found two of the bumper pad ties were longer than 9″ in length.
Bradley Thach M.D. and Professor of Pediatrics and staff physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital who also researches infant apnea and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or (S.I.D.S.) says, “Many young infants lack the motor coordination needed to free themselves when they become wedged between the pad and another surface. They are likely to suffocate because they are re breathing expired air or their mouth and nose become compressed.” Thach claims that both soft and firm bumper pads pose risks to all infants.
Indications by researcher studies have been limited because of under-reporting of cases and lack of consistent protocol of infant deaths during investigation and autopsies.
Thach recommends that parents do not use bumper pads in cribs, play-yards or bassinets at all.
Sources for this article are as follows: http://mednews.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/10081.html?emailID=16027