The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a joint statement1 on 3 November 2016, published by the Chairman Elliot Kaye and other Commissioners, strongly warning all parents and caregivers not to use padded crib bumpers. Considering the incidents reported from January 1990 to March 2016, they believe there is a clear risk of injury or death in children‘s sleeping environments associated with the products.
Crib bumpers are commonly made of fabric and fiber filling or foam panels intended for use around the inside perimeter of a baby’s crib to protect an infant’s head from bumping into the hard crib slats, and also to serve as a barrier preventing an infant’s limbs from getting caught between the slats and corner posts.
The city of Chicago2 and the state of Maryland3 banned the sale of padded crib bumpers since 2011 and 2013 respectively. At the Federal level, the discussion started with the petition submitted by Juvenile Products Manufactures Association (JPMA)4 in May 2012. On 19 October 2016, CPSC voted to initiate rulemaking under Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2017 regulatory plan to address the hazard with the use of the products. Since CPSC failed to ban crib bumper pads outright, many consumer groups have instead appealed to retailers to stop selling these dangerous and unnecessary products.
In view of addressing product safety, the voluntary standard ASTM F1917-125 was introduced for infant bedding and related accessories. It requires bumpers to test for tie strength and pass a test that entails dropping the bumper through a “bumper thickness test fixture” that is a two-inch wide slot. However, the CPSC commented these test methods are still unclear to mitigate the risk associated with padded crib bumpers.