The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or CPSC is advancing with its proposed rule to ban padded, pillow-like crib bumpers amid increasing incidents of infant injury and deaths.
In a statement, the agency said it voted unanimously last week to move forward with rulemaking on a federal safety standard for crib bumpers.
With the rule, the sale of padded, pillow-like bumpers/liners that fail to meet minimum air flow requirements will be prohibited.
As per the new airflow requirement, bumpers must allow for minimum airflow similar to mesh liners. Without sufficient airflow, infants can suffocate when they roll against the crib bumper and become wedged between bumper and mattress. The pillow-like surface of the bumper can also completely obstruct the infant’s mouth and nose.
The proposed rule would also reduce the allowable crib bumper thickness to under 2″ and would add a firmness requirement for crib bumpers.
As per the agency’s Federal Register notice, CPSC has reports of 113 fatalities associated with bumpers between January 1, 1990 and March 31, 2019. All bumpers involved in these incidents were traditional bumpers, and all but eight involved the bumper inside a crib.
CPSC has also identified 113 nonfatal incidents and concerns that involved crib bumpers and were reported from January 1, 2008, through March 31, 2019.
There were five consumer-level recalls during July 9, 1990 through April 17, 2019 due to the risks of entanglement, entrapment, suffocation, and choking from loose thread and from bumper ties that either detached from the product or were too long.
The agency said it is now seeking comments on its proposal and alternative approaches.
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