Today, the first state-wide ban on baby crib bumpers has taken effect. Maryland has forbid the usage of bumpers, saying that they offer no meaningful benefit and pose potentially serious risks to infants, including suffocation. The ban doesn't include vertical bumpers that wrap tightly around each crib rail or mesh crib liners, but still -- health officials don't endorse those types either. Anyone who ships or sells a crib bumper to a resident of Maryland will be issued a warning, and are subject to a fine of up to $500.
Yes, crib bumpers are cute. But we've been advised against them for quite some time now. Why are we still selling and buying them?
I understand the desire for a crib bumper, really I do. When my daughter started rolling over and moving around like a little worm in her crib, I totally got it. Her legs would wind up slipping through the bars and it freaked me the hell out. I understood the purpose of bumpers beyond their aesthetics. But why take that risk? The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Institutes of Health have all advised against their use over and over again. Bumpers have been linked to suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment since infants don't necessarily lack the motor skills or strength to lift or turn their heads if they were to roll into something that obstructed their breathing.
I'm incredibly happy that Maryland decided to go ahead and ban crib bumpers. This is to no one's benefit but our own. Hopefully, other states will follow suit, and we can collectively reduce the odds of something happening to our babies. Please, pass this on. Bumpers really are not safe.
Do you use bumpers?
Image via Jessica Merz/Flickr