by Melissa Jenco • News Content Editor
A new report details the dangers of
padded crib bumpers and recommends
new performance standards.
The findings echo the Academy’s concerns and lend weight to the AAP recommendation of a ban on the products.
“The overwhelming evidence shows
that they do nothing more than contrib-
ute to the deadly clutter in many of our
nation’s cribs,” U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commissioner (CPSC) Elliot F.
Kaye said in a statement.
The report, authored by Kaye’s senior
science and policy adviser Jonathan D.
Midgett, Ph.D., follows up on a Sep-
tember 2016 CPSC staff report that
analyzed 107 fatal and 282 nonfatal
incidents from January 1990 through
March 2016 that were associated with
crib bumpers. Incidents included en-
trapment of head or limbs, choking and
Staff at the time determined CPSC
action on crib bumpers likely couldn’t
have prevented many of the incidents.
However, that conclusion was met with
criticism from CPSC commissioners
who called for the development of safe-
The new report ( https://t.co/PZfLT
vioVj) revisits the staff’s research and
identifies six additional hazards associ-
ated with padded bumpers:
• They limit space on the mattress.
• They cover key failure points on the
• They are difficult to install.
• They are used with children older
than the recommended age.
• They are used outside cribs.
• Their use sends mixed messages
about padded objects in a crib.
Rachel Y. Moon, M.D., FAAP, lead
author of the Academy’s safe sleep policy
statement, agreed the padded bumpers
pose real dangers.
“Given the fact that bumpers do very
little to promote safety for our youngest
infants, who are at highest risk for injury
and death associated with bumpers, and
because bumpers increase the risk for
accidental suffocation and entrapment,
bumpers should not be in the crib,” she
The report acknowledged limb entrapments have occurred in cribs without bumpers but said “they are minor
injuries and they overwhelmingly occur
to children who are too old to be using
bumpers anyway.” Proponents of new
safety measures also say slats are closer
together in newer cribs, further lowering
chances of entrapment.
To mitigate the risks associated with
padded crib bumpers, the report suggests CPSC block the use of bumpers
that can conform to an infant’s face or
“I think that it’s great if the CPSC
is considering developing performance
standards for bumpers,” Dr. Moon said.
“However, this will likely take years. In
the meantime, we continue to support
a ban on the sale and use of bumpers.”
“When it comes to any child’s sleep
environment, bare really is best,” he said.
• Consumer Product Safety Commis-
sion’s Safe to Sleep Crib Information
Center, http://bit.ly/2r9k YTz
• Safe to Sleep campaign, https://www.
• AAP policy SIDS and Other Sleep-Re-
lated Infant Deaths: Updated 2016
Recommendations for a Safe Infant
Sleeping Environment, http://bit.
• Information for parents on the Healthy-
Children website, http://bit.ly/2sb7uqq