A report from the Chicago Tribune suggests that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has known about at least 17 infant deaths thought to be caused by the use of bumpers in cribs, but has been slow to investigate or officially call the products unsafe. CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said officials are looking into a link between bumper pads and suffocation, but said they need to rule out factors liked blankets, pillows or medical issues as causes of death. But reporters for the Tribune found that in many of these cases, coroners and medical examiners blamed the deaths directly on bumpers.
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Bumpers were first conceived to close up the space between crib slats so baby’s head or limbs couldn’t get stuck. But regulations now mandate less space between slats, making bumpers more of an aesthetic choice than a safety necessity. Although bumpers are included with most crib bedding sets, the American Academy of Pediatrics says they should be kept out of baby’s sleep environment:
Parents should keep pillows—including crib bumpers—andother soft materials out of their baby's sleeping area, accordingto the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the "Back toSleep" campaign, which reduced Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) deaths by more than 40% between 1992 and 2000. Additionally,data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Com mission showit is extremely rare for the contact between an infant and thesides of the crib to cause long-term injury.So while crib bumpers may give parents a feeling of security,in reality these soft objects pose a serious safety risk toinfants.
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Did you use a bumper? Do you think they are dangerous?