Crib Safety — News to Some, Not to Us

As infant safety lawyers, we have litigated what are always tragic cases involving infant death. In the past several years we have been at the forefront of infant product recalls involving cribs and basinettes and have posted on the dangers of crib bumpers.

In the early 1990’s. the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a recommendation that infants be placed on their backs to sleep. This is said to have reduced the number of deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). However, infants continued to suffer tragic deaths in increasing numbers while sleeping in cribs. These deaths have been caused by such things as suffocation and entrapment due to defective cribs, basinettes and the like.

Earlier this week, the AAP has taken a step that we have been advocating for some time. We have represented unsuspecting parents whose babies needlessly suffocated in cribs due to bumpers, positioners and other materials left in the crib.

The AAP has now said put nothing in the baby’s crib, but the baby. This means no pillows, blankets, bumpers or other things that could entrap the baby or cause suffocation.

In a policy statement called “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment,” the AAP has taken further steps to protect infants.

Updated safety recommendations include the importance of breastfeeding and immunizations that are both said to reduce SIDS. In addition, bumper pads should not be used in cribs. They AAP says there is simply “no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment.”

Sadly, we are well-aware of the dangers of crib bumpers, having represented families dealing with the tragic death of infants who have been injured or suffocated in cribs with bumpers and other causes.

Other recommendations include the importance of placing babies on their backs when putting them to sleep, using a firm mattress for regular sleep, putting babies to sleep in their parents’ room but not in the same bed, removing all soft objects from the bed such as blankets and toys, not using wedges or baby positioners, using awake time for tummy time to avoid babies developing a condition that results in the baby having a flat head.

California’s preeminent consumer rights law firm, Hersh & Hersh has led the way in infant safety, having been at the forefront of the largest crib recall in the nation’s history and other important infant safety actions. Please contact our office for a free consultation with one of our attorneys, for any matter involving defective products and devices, medical implants, infant safety, auto and other motor vehicle accidents and the like.