The Danger of Crib Bumper Pads

The Danger of Crib Bumper Pads

Many parents are completely unaware of the potential danger of crib bumper pads. Fortunately, the word is getting around.

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed a set of three bills that aim to reduce the rate of child injuries. The bills specifically zero in on making furniture safe enough to not tip over, and restricting the use of crib bumper pads that can endanger children. This legislation is not only important in New York. In truth, this discussion is helpful so that everyone with a young child can better understand the risks of tipping furniture and bumper pads on cribs.

Today, let’s focus a spotlight on the dangers of bumper pads in particular. 

An Increased Likelihood of Injury or Death

Crib bumper pads are a padding that covers the interior circumference of a child’s crib. Major children’s safety organizations, including Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), American Pediatrics Association (APA) and National SIDS Alliance all stress the danger of these products and urge parents to remove them from all cribs. In fact, according to the CPSC, they have been responsible for at least 48 infant deaths and 146 injuries since 1985. This is why the organization states that "[it] strongly believe[s] that the risk of death from padded crib bumpers far outweighs any purported benefits."

Crib Bumper Pads: An Outdated Concept

Crib bumper pads were initially used to block the slats on cribs so that a baby wouldn’t get caught between them. Protection from this type of entrapment is no longer necessary since current safety standards now require that all cribs have slats that are closer together, reducing the likelihood of a limb or head getting trapped.

With these new standards, bumper pads are no longer needed. Still, they are common, and often come as part of crib bedding sets.  What’s additionally alarming is that, even if parents take the precaution to avoid use of these pads, it is possible that their daycare facilities still use them. Take a proactive role in making sure your child is not exposed to these dangers by asking your daycare facility about its policies.

The Dangers of Bumper Pads

Now that we know how dangerous these pads can be, let’s take a closer look at what makes them a cause for concern. Crib bumper pads pose several threats to the safety of infants and toddlers.

  • Suffocation: One of the biggest recommendations for safe baby sleep, from organizations such as CPSC and APA, is to avoid putting anything else in your baby’s crib.  This includes blankets, pillows, toys and yes, crib bumper pads.  Having unnecessary items in the crib can end up blocking your baby’s breathing passage. As babies are too young to move away an item that is obstructing their breathing, suffocation can become an unfortunate result. SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, is actually the leading cause of death among babies between one month and one year of age, so this is very serious counsel. 

Though the threat of suffocation is greater when a baby is much younger, new risks present themselves as kids grow older.

  • Strangulation: Since bumper pads are usually attached to the crib with ties, strangulation is still a concern. A baby can easily get tangled in the ties, or caught between the bumper and the crib, resulting in strangulation.
  • Falling: Crib bumper pads still aren’t recommended for toddlers. Once a baby can stand, the pads can create a foothold by which the child can boost themselves out of the crib.  For a determined little one, this can cause them to potentially fall and get injured.

While there are very few reasons to justify the use of a crib bumper pad, no reason is worth the safety of your child. So get rid of those crib bumper once and for all! 

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