In October of 2005 the Canadian Government issued a warning on crib bumpers.
Health Canada does not recommend the use of bumper pads in cribs because they pose an entanglement, entrapment, strangulation, and suffocation hazard to infants.
A study that was done by Dr. Bradley Thach at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the Washington University School of Medicine reveals that small babies simply cannot free themselves when they get entangled.
“Many infants lack the motor development needed to free themselves when they become wedged between the bumper pad and another surface,” Thach said in a statement.
“If the pads are too soft, the baby’s nose or face can get pressed up against it, and the baby suffocates,” he added. “If they are too firm, the baby can climb up on the pads and fall out of the crib.”
Writing in The Journal of Pediatrics, Thach and colleagues said they reviewed three U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission databases for deaths related to crib bumpers and crib-related injuries from 1985-2005.
Investigators determined that 11 infants suffocated when their face rested against the bumper pad, 13 died after being wedged between the bumper pad and another object and three were strangled by a bumper tie.
When Thach’s team looked at 22 commercially available crib bumpers, they found several had long ties that could strangle babies, and all were hazardous because they all potentially leave a space between the pad and the mattress where babies could get their heads wedged.
“I don’t think bumper pads are doing any good,” Thach concluded.
Breathable Bumper is a padded mesh liner that improves airflow and keeps arms and legs in the crib. It Velcros to the crib as opposed to using ties and tucks down below the mattress.
They are available at major chain stores in the baby section for about $20.