Many parents turn to padded crib bumpers to prevent their babies from injuring their limbs or heads. However, experts say the dangers of this common baby accessory are very real, and if you have a baby that rolls over in his or her crib, the pad can cut off the baby’s area of breathing.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is now saying parents should not use padded bumpers because of the terrifying risks, like asphyxiation and suffocation. However, the item is still available online and in countless stores across the country. In a study by the Journal of Pediatrics, bumper pads were the cause of 77 infant deaths between 1995 and 2012. “Many infants lack the motor development needed to free themselves when they become wedged between the bumper pad and another surface,” Dr. Bradley Thach, professor of pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, told ABC News. “If the pads are too soft, the baby’s nose or face can get pressed up against it, and the baby suffocates. If they are too firm, the baby can climb up on the pads and fall out of the crib.”
In 2013, the Daily Mail reported on the horrible tragedy of baby Preston, whose mother found him dead in his crib. She believes it was the bumper she purchased on eBay that strangled him, as his neck was entangled in the material from the bumper.
So far in the U.S., the state of Maryland and the city of Chicago have banned the sale of bumper pads.
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