Crib bumper ban considered

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 11:21am

Maryland became the nation's first state to propose a ban on the sale of crib bumper pads on Tuesday, with heath officials saying they pose unnecessary risks to infants.

Eleni Kotsis said she was worried her baby's face could get pressed against his crib's bumper pads and cut off his airflow, so she removed them.

"We put the bumper pads in the crib because we were excited parents, and we thought it was so cute. Then my husband and I thought, 'We need to get these out of here,'" Kotsis said.

According to state health officials, Kotsis did the right thing by eliminating the "suffocation hazards."

The ban, if approved, would take effect Jan. 1, 2013, and would exclude the sale of bumper pads for older children or for those who have special needs.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it's in the process of taking a look at the safety

Bumper pad makers said the cushions that line a crib keep babies from hitting their heads, but task force members argued that research shows most babies can't exert enough force to hurt themselves and bumpers do more harm than good.

"You don't have to have the bumper on top of the child. It's restrictive enough," said Dr. David Fowler, Maryland chief medical examiner.

Experts said they can't justify keeping a product on the market that can gravely endanger a child, especially when they can't find any clear benefits to justify the risk.

The recommendation now goes to the state's health secretary, who will decide whether to issue a regulation that could ban their sale in the state.

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