As safety advocates, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and its member manufacturers support removing products from a crib that have proven links to suffocation, such as adult bedding, pillows, comforters quilts and other pillow-like products. Data shows that these products in a child’s sleeping environment increase an infant’s risk of suffocation.
However, when it comes to crib bumpers, JPMA affirms that when used according to manufacturer’s instructions, traditional crib bumpers that meet the voluntary standard, known as the ASTM Infant Bedding Standard, assist parents in safely addressing their very real concerns about crib injuries. This affirmation is based on solid data and an extensive risk hazard analysis conducted in 2013 by the independent research firm Exponent. In evaluating all available information, including incident reports and allegations it found no documented cases of suffocation where there was a bumper pad and nothing else in the crib and found that at no time has the crib bumper been cited as the sole cause of an infant’s death. This report in its methodology looked at all incident data and the presence of bumper pads and other soft goods and bedding and broke it down case by case – finding no link to the crib bumpers explicitly.
Suggesting the removal of a bumper from a crib will also remove its benefits of use. Evidence shows the risk of limb entrapments, bumps and bruises to legs and arms, as well as an infant’s head are real. According to federal statistics, problems with infants getting their limbs caught between crib slats accounted for more than 12 percent of the incidents in a special reporting program known as the Early Warning System at the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Parents now have a choice to use crib bumpers that meet a safety standard to minimize the risk of these incidents and injuries that horrify parents and frighten and harm children.
By recommending the removal of a bumper that meets the voluntary safety standard increases the chance of creating dangerous unintended consequences. These may come in the form of makeshift fixes such lining the crib with pillows or taking to social media following do it yourself instructions to make dangerous pillow like bumpers, filling a void and increasing the risk of suffocation in the crib.
JPMA and its members are committed to educating and informing consumers about creating a safe sleep environment for children. We encourage parents and caregivers to keep adult bedding, pillows, blankets, as well as other soft pillow like products out of the crib.
To read a study on the safety of crib bumpers, click here.