February 28, 2008

I'd Like To Thank The Crib Bumper Industrial Complex: CPSC Warns Of Crib Threat From 'Soft Bedding'

Is there someone at the JPMA who gets a bonus every time crib bumpers aren't mentioned in a CPSC alert about the dangers of "soft bedding" in cribs? From the AP:

Parents are putting their babies at risk when they place pillows and other soft bedding in their cribs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned Thursday.

From 2002 to 2004, 241 children under age 5 died in incidents involving nursery products. About 40 percent of the deaths involved cribs, with soft bedding cited as the leading contributing factor. Many of the children suffocated when lying face down on pillows or other bedding, the agency said.

"Less is more when you're talking about the crib," CPSC spokeswoman Julie Vallese said, adding that cribs should be free of adult pillows and blankets, stuffed animals and baby quilts.

Here's the breakdown from the CPSC's report, "Nursery Product-Related Injuries and Deaths Among Children under Age Five" [download the analysis in pdf]:
Ninety-seven deaths were associated with cribs between 2002 and 2004. Of these, 46 deaths (47%) were attributed to soft bedding and, occasionally, sibling overlay. Another 13 incidents (13%) were attributed to other accessories situated in or around the crib. These included, but were not limited to, window blind cords, curtain tie backs, baby monitor cords, humidifier cords, and pacifier ribbons. Twenty-four deaths (25%) resulted from the use of cribs with broken or missing components, and another six deaths (6%) were results of infants getting wedged in small spaces like that between an ill-fitting mattress and the crib rail. There were three deaths where infants fell out of the crib and two deaths which resulted from alterations made to the cribs, contrary to manufacturers' suggested guidelines. The three remaining deaths occurred when children were trapped between the crib and another piece of furniture or the wall.

...

There were 28 deaths in [bassinets and cradles] during 2002-2004, most (22 out of 28) of which were attributed to the use of soft bedding. There were three deaths from falls out of the bassinets and two deaths from infants becoming wedged between the mattress and the side of the bassinet. The last death occurred when a child was asphyxiated due to the collapse of the bassinet.

I don't know why bedding suffocation and "sibling overlay" are combined into one attribution category. But the takeaway here is as clear as your kid's crib should be. [Hmm, now that I think about it, this analysis only looks at deaths involving a nursery product in some way. Does that mean it excludes infant asphyxiation deaths that occurred in adult beds, on sofas, or with soft bedding somewhere else? I think it does.]

Crowded cribs lead to baby deaths [ap/yahoo via dt reader mark]
Rather uninformative title: Building Baby Safety From the Ground Up [cpsc.gov]

Previously: Outside researchers analyze CPSC data, find crib bumpers are useless and dangerous
JPMA, baby boomers, and the explosion of the crib bumper market But if I'M selling crib bumpers, they MUST be safe

1 Comment

Does anyone else have a problem with the IKEA Gulliver crib and the mattress not fitting properly. We have tried two mattresses (one from IKEA) and both leave a space between the mattress and the side of the crib. We only used this crib after my daughter was 10 months old or so and it didn't seem like too much of an issue for her, but with an infant (due early July)I want a mattress that fits properly. Could it be an isolated Gulliver crib problem? The problem solver here would be to wedge a bumper pad in there, but I am not a big fan of bumper pads because of the reasons mentioned in this post.

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