A study, published in The Journal of Pediatrics September issue, showed that soft crib bumpers have caused a number of infant deaths over the years. Researchers reviewed three U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission databases for deaths related to crib bumpers and crib-related injuries from 1985-2005 and found that there have been 27 accidental deaths of children up to 2-years-old that were from suffocation or strangulation by bumper pads or their ties. The study also found that there were 25 non-fatal injuries from crib bumpers in this time period.
Of the deaths that were investigates, 11 of them were from suffocation when the babies put their heads against the bumper pad, 13 deaths were attributed to infants becoming wedged in between the crib bumper and another object, and 3 infants died from strangulation from the crib bumpers ties.
“Many infants lack the motor development needed to free themselves when they become wedged between the bumper pad and another surface,” said Dr. Bradley Thach, professor of pediatrics and staff physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, in a news release. “They are likely to suffocate because they are rebreathing expired air or their nose and mouth are compressed.”
Thach also says that both firm and soft crib bumpers can pose a threat to infants. He says if the bumper is too soft then the infant can suffocate is his or her face gets pressed up against it, and firm bumpers are dangerous because infants can climb out of the crib using the bumper as a step stool.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Defective and Dangerous Products.