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Sale of Crib Bumper Pads Banned in Chicago Following Baby Deaths

Chicago has become one of the first cities in America to ban the sale of crib bumper pads, following reports they have been linked to the suffocation of infants. Council members approved the ban on crib bumper pads without debate, the Chicago Tribune reported.

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, a group that represents manufacturers and sellers of pads, maintains the products are safe, but about 14 reports of infant suffocation involving crib bumpers have been received since 2008 by the National Center for Child Death Review, the newspaper noted.

Further details of the potential dangers of crib bumper pads were outlined in a recent investigation by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri (MO). Researchers found the risks of accidental injury or even death outweighed the benefits of the crib bumper pads. Ironically, many parents use these pads in cribs and bassinets to protect babies from injury. The researchers reviewed U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission data from 1985-2005 that pointed to 27 accidental deaths of children, ages one month to two years old, "attributed to suffocation or strangulation by bumper pads or their ties."

The researchers also uncovered 25 nonfatal injuries related to bumper pads. The study found 11 infants likely suffocated when their face rested against the pad, 13 died when they became wedged between the bumper pad and another object, while the deaths of three infants were linked to strangulation by bumper ties.

As experienced Virginia (VA) personal injury attorneys who deal with defective product cases, my colleagues and I are concerned about the ongoing list of potentially dangerous problems in equipment that's meant to safeguard infants. In December, 2010, we reported that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs, after hearing they were linked to the suffocation and brain injury deaths of more than 30 babies and toddlers. Indeed, November 2009 to January 2010 alone, saw four huge U.S. recalls of cribs and strollers amid evidence the products were killing and injuring infants and toddlers.

Children are our most precious commodity. But it seems many manufacturers of equipment for babies and toddlers have scant regard for their safety. See our FAQ about defective products and product liability.


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