Effective today, Maryland is banning the sale of baby crib bumper pads, the first statewide baby crib bumper ban in the country. The ban is in response to safety concerns associated with the bumpers. These include deaths linked with suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
“SIDS is a diagnosis given when a child under one year old passes away unexpectedly,” says Dr. James Rost, medical director of the NICU and pediatrics at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital. “It most often occurs while the child is sleeping.”
Dr. Rost explains that due to under-developed motor skills in infants and small children, they are unable to untangle or remove themselves from baby crib bumpers if they roll into them.
In addition to reducing the risk of SIDS or suffocation by removing bumpers, Dr. Rost recommends these tips for safe sleeping:
- Put infants to sleep on their backs and never on their side or stomach.
- Always use a firm sleep surface. Do not use car seats or other sitting devices for routine sleep.
- Sleep in the same room as your baby but not in the same bed.
- Do not put soft objects or loose bedding in the crib, including pillows and blankets.
- Do not smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
- Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
- Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Make sure infants receive all recommended vaccinations.
- Do not use wedges and positioners.
In addition to providing a safer environment for babies, Dr. Rost notes that removing crib bumpers gives parents a better visual of their baby.