BUFFALO, N.Y. – If you’re a parent, you may have heard about the dangers of crib bumpers. Now, a new study has doctors concerned because there’s been a ‘significant’ spike in the number of infant deaths associated with crib bumpers and the study’s authors believe the numbers are still “dramatically” undercounted.
According to the latest study in the Journal of Pediatrics, crib bumpers have been linked to at least 48 suffocations in just the last seven years.
Buffalo defective product lawyers at Cellino & Barnes say the bumpers have been found to be so dangerous that they’re even banned in some places.
“Although there aren’t any federal regulations, these products can be dangerous for children in Buffalo,” defective product attorney Steve Barnes said. “They’ve been such a problem that companies are banned from selling these products in the city of Chicago and in the state of Maryland.”
Consumer Reports named crib bumpers one of the “13 dangerous baby products to avoid” in 2012. The report cited bumpers as a ‘suffocation hazard’ that could be linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Designed to keep babies from hitting their heads on crib slats, many parents choose to purchase bumpers as a ‘protection.’ However, attorneys and doctors say bumpers serve no real purpose.
“Although infants can bump their heads on hard crib slats, it’s extremely uncommon to cause any serious injury,” Barnes said. “Injuries are more likely to occur when a child is smothered by the bumper, and these injuries can be deadly.”
There have also been several reports of older infants using the bumper to climb out of the crib, resulting in a potentially serious and sometimes deadly fall.
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) represents the crib bedding industry. Following the recent study, JPMA released the following statement to CNN:
“JPMA affirms that when used according to manufacturer’s instructions, traditional crib bumpers that meet the ASTM Infant Bedding Standard assist parents in addressing their very real concerns about crib injuries including limb entrapment, head injury, contusions and abrasions.”
The association also mentioned a research report from 2013 that found crib bumpers have not been cited as the sole cause of an infant’s death.
However, many doctors disagree after researching and testing the bedding for three decades.
Buffalo defective product lawyers say parents should carefully research baby products before buying them.
“When you go to a baby store, there are several cribs with bumpers on display and some parents may assume they’re safe or the store wouldn’t be selling them,” Barnes said. “Convenience stores still sell cigarettes but it doesn’t mean they’re good for you – so it’s important to see all the information before making a purchase.”
Many doctors believe these baby products should not be sold in stores. If your child has been injured or killed in a crib with crib bumpers, contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your case for free.