Bill to Ban Crib Bumpers Introduced in Congress
Bipartisan legislation called the Safe Cribs Act seeks to reduce infant deaths due to soft padding in cribs
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in Congress to ban the sale of crib bumpers, which pediatricians have long said are unnecessary and pose a deadly risk to sleeping babies.
The bill, called the Safe Cribs Act, would also make it illegal in the U.S. to manufacture, distribute, or import crib bumpers. The padding is considered dangerous because babies can roll over and press their faces against the material, leading to suffocation.
Bumpers are sold widely in stores and online despite not aligning with safe sleep recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. The group says babies should be put to bed in a bare environment, free of soft bedding, alone, and on their backs.
The bill was introduced by Sens. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.
Safe Sleep Tips
While consumers wait for either the legislation to pass or the CPSC’s proposed rule to become finalized, caregivers should follow this safe sleep advice:
- Put your baby to bed alone on her back, on a firm, flat surface that is free of any restraints and soft bedding.
- Room-share with your baby for the first six to 12 months: Put her in a freestanding bassinet or a sidecar bassinet next to your bed that allows you to touch and soothe her when needed.
- Don’t swaddle for too many months. Wrapping your baby in a swaddle before placing him on his back on a firm, flat surface can help replicate the soothing environment of the womb so that he sleeps better. But it’s important to stop swaddling when your baby shows any signs of trying to roll over, which may happen around 2 months of age, so the swaddling doesn’t impede their development or become an entanglement hazard when your baby starts to move more.
- Offer your baby a pacifier. Many babies have a strong sucking reflex and find sucking on a pacifier to be soothing. Research also shows that pacifiers are safe for infants and may reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Know that spitting up (aka reflux) is normal and not necessarily a cause for concern. All babies reflux to some degree, and it’s usually more of a laundry problem than a medical issue. Do not prop your baby up on a padded wedge or an inclined product for sleep because this can increase the risk of suffocation. If, however, you think your baby is having problems due to reflux (such as pain or poor weight gain), talk with your pediatrician.