Crib Bumpers Tied to Increasing Number of Infant Fatalities

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Crib Bumpers Tied to Increasing Number of Infant Fatalities
Crib Bumpers Tied to Increasing Number of Infant Fatalities

TUESDAY, Nov. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Infant deaths linked to crib bumpers have spiked in recent years in the United States, leading researchers to urge a ban on the padded bedding accessories. These findings appear online Nov. 24 in The Journal of Pediatrics.

The researchers reviewed U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) statistics on crib bumper-related deaths in the United States between 1985 and 2012, and bumper-related injuries between 1990 and 2012. Forty-eight infants died because of crib bumper suffocation, while 146 babies had injuries, such as near-choking, strangling, or entrapment. More than half the fatalities (32) were deemed preventable in the absence of crib bumpers. In most cases, crib bumpers were identified as the sole cause of death, despite the presence of other objects. The study team also found that the 23 deaths reported by the commission between 2006 and 2012 represented a near-tripling of the average number (eight) reported in the three seven-year periods from 1985 to 2006.

An additional review of data collected between 2008 and 2011 by the National Center for the Review and Prevention of Child Deaths identified another 32 bumper-related deaths across 37 states, most of which had not been cited by the CPSC. That put the number of fatalities tied to crib bumpers at 77, and suggested that the actual number is much higher, the authors said.

"A ban on crib bumpers would reinforce the message that no soft bedding of any kind should be placed inside a baby's crib," senior author Bradley T. Thach, M.D., a professor emeritus of pediatrics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the author of a landmark study published in 2007, said in a statement. "There is one sure-fire way to prevent infant deaths from crib bumpers: Don't use them, ever."

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