Consumer Alert — Crib Bumper and Baby Positioner Dangers

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune published a major report on the dangers of crib bumpers. The California Injury Attorney Blog’s affiliated law firm, Hersh & Hersh represents one of the families featured in the article. We want to ensure that other families protect their children from these dangers.

Preston Maxwell died at age seven weeks. His dad put him to bed one night earlier this year and by morning the baby was found dead in his crib. The baby was found with his nose “pressed between the mattress and crib bumper pad” and his autopsy report concluded that he had suffocated. In other words, the baby’s face ended up wedged between the mattress and crib bumper pad.

According to the Tribune article, the “U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said it will re-examine the safety of crib bumpers.” This will include reopening files on infant deaths to evaluate the “safety of bumper pads on store shelves and rethinking how investigators examine deaths where bumper pads are present.”

It is not yet known how many infant deaths have been caused by crib bumpers, but since the CPSC is now taking another look at this product, there might well be many more deaths that will in the end be attributed to something that has been present in baby nurseries for years.

One pediatrician studied the safety of bumper pads and three years ago issued a report that concluded 27 infant deaths were caused by these products over two decades. He used CPSC data to determine this.

In some cases, the deaths have been erroneously attributed to SIDS, when in fact other circumstances in these baby’s cribs were overlooked. Due to the pediatrician’s report, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggested that parents avoid the use of crib bumpers.

Another product in many infant cribs are sleep positioners. These are supposed to keep infants from rolling onto their stomach which is suspected as a cause of SIDS. In Preston’s case, he was placed in a crib positioner, but “rolled out of his positioner and landed with his face between the bumper pad and mattress,” states the Tribute article.

This past fall, the FDA urged parents to stop using these positioners and issued a warning concerning them. Additionally, the FDA sought the halting of manufacturing and selling of this product.

The national consumer lawyers of California’s Hersh & Hersh would like parents to ensure their infants are safe. If you would like more information on the dangers of crib bumper and/or baby positioners, please contact our law firm to speak with one of our lawyers.