Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Baby bed bumpers

You know what bumpers are--those pillowy strips you tie around the crib bars encircling the tot. My daughter had some darling ones with alligators on them (we were very cynical in those days--more than now even).

Problem is, even a baby a few days old will squirm their way to the sides to get their head against something solid--and those loosely tied bumpers can tangle the child into the folds and...well, not good.

Deaths and injuries due to this bedding are up, according to a professor emeritus of pediatrics and two researchers with the Consumer Products Safety Commission.

Bumpers caused more tragedies than blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals.

Still, the numbers are low--two digits, maybe a few a year. But the researchers say this data is not reliable. (J of Pediatrics, Nov 24, 2105)

When the baby's mouth and nose are covered with a bumper, they can suffocate or expire from breathing oxygen-depleted air. Or get brain damage from the latter.

At first, bumpers were used to keep a baby's head from getting caught in the slats of the crib.  Since 1973, though, requirements are that the slats be close enough together that a head cannot get through.

Which reminds me--if Grandma is getting an old crib out of the attic for a holiday visit--say something.

And don't just put in crib bumpers, either. They are even banned for sale in Maryland and the city of Chicago.

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