From 1985 to 2005, crib bumpers—the soft padded things parents use to protect their little bundles of dna from injury—have caused 27 deaths and 25 injuries in babies 2-years-old or younger, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Two universities are now cautioning that crib bumpers may not be worth the risk.
One of the authors behind the study says that babies sometimes get tangled in the padding and can’t squirm free:
Many infants lack the motor development needed to free themselves when they become wedged between the bumper pad and another surface. If the pads are too soft, the baby’s nose or face can get pressed up against it, and the baby suffocates. If they are too firm, the baby can climb up on the pads and fall out of the crib.
Of the 22 commercially available crib bumper products the study looked at, they found that “several had long ties that could strangle babies,” and all left space between the bumper and the mattress, where a baby’s head could get stuck.
“Crib bumpers can do more harm than good: U.S. study” [Reuters]