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American moms just can't get enough of cute nursery decor. Maybe that's the reason we continue to use crib bumpers -- an item that's been considered a SIDS risk in Canada and Europe for some time -- despite the known risk. But this latest news may help the message sink in.
The New York Times reports that bumpers, those cushiony decorative liners that pad the inside of a crib, are being investigated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after reports of more than two dozen cases where they were involved in the suffocation deaths of babies and this chilling report from the Chicago Tribune. One more reason to seriously reconsider a bumper: For the past three years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended not using one.
Of course, bumpers aren't the only crib-related products to come under fire. We recently reported on the ban on sleep positioners, which are designed to keep baby on her back or side. The devices (two bolsters connected by a thin pad) contributed to 12 infant deaths and created dangerous sleeping positions for dozens more babies. A month later, moms were urged to keep baby monitor cords away from cribs, after six infants reportedly died of cord strangulation. And in December, we wrote about the ban on drop-side cribs, passed because at least 32 babies have died in the last decade after getting caught in a gap between the mattress and side rail. More than 7 million of these cribs have been recalled in the last five years. (One very important note: Most crib-related deaths are caused by suffocation from pillows and other bedding, not all of the above products.)
The bottom line? Follow the lead of moms in other countries and remove the cutesy bumpers, teddy bears, pillows and blankets. Just put baby in a bare crib on his back to prevent SIDS. Trust us, after reading the Tribune's story, you won't think twice about it.
Do you use bumpers -- or not? Why? Chime in below!