In many places, bumpers are used in a variety of ways. These may include trimming storage containers, using them as a decorative storage and the list goes on. Even then, a more common use for these bumpers in the past has been on a baby’s crib or bed. Originally, the bumpers on these cribs were intended to prevent babies from falling over from the crib in addition to preventing them from getting their legs and arms caught in the crib rails or even bumping their heads against them. Whatever the reasons for using the bumpers on cribs, are they really safe? Well, the answer to this question is a resounding No!
The main reason for this is that according to researchers, these bumpers are often dangerous because babies can easily get caught in their fabric and possibly suffocate. This can either be by their face getting caught into the bumper making it hard for them to breath, or alternatively they get wedged in between the bumper and some part of the crib. Moreover, some bumpers can even reduce the flow of fresh air to your baby’s crib and this is widely considered to contribute to the common SIDS.
In this regard, N.J Scheers, the lead author of a study, about crib bumper deaths, that was published in the “Journal of Pediatrics” suggested that such deaths can be entirely prevented by avoiding bumper use. And according to this study, deaths caused by bumper cribs have significantly increased in recent years hence leading to more doubt regarding the suitability and safety of these pads. The following is a summary of some of the findings from the study carried out by Pediatricians from St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
• According to the database by Consumer Products S. Commission, 48 suffocations were attributed to the crib bumpers in the US between 1985 to 1912. Apparently, these numbers have been increasing since then.
• In addition, 146 infants sustained some injuries arising from the bumpers. This includes choking on the bumper ties or near-suffocations.
As a result of these and more findings, most health specialists including doctors have strongly recommended against use of these crib bumpers including the “breathable mesh crib liners” whose safety has not yet been proven. And in response to this, some states in the US like Chicago and Maryland banned the sale of these bumpers in 2011 and 2013 respectively, further reinforcing how serious this matter has become.
To sum it up, it’s easy to assume that just because stores freely sell cribs with bumpers, then these bumpers cannot be as fatal as widely claimed. However, nothing can be further from the truth, for as already shown by the findings, using these bumpers is certainly risking the safety and wellbeing of your beloved child. And if you want to see the child grow to become a mature individual, then avoid the bumpers as much as you can.