Van Hollen, Duckworth, Introduce Legislation to Protect Infants from Deadly “Crib Bumpers”
23 infants died between 2006 and 2012 from suffocation because of these products
Today, U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), introduced legislation to protect infant lives by banning the sale of crib bumpers in the United States. The Safe Cribs Act (S. 1816) would also make it unlawful to manufacture and import crib bumpers, which are marketed as necessary for infant safety even though 48 babies have died as a result of suffocation attributed to them between 1985 and 2012, and 146 infants have been injured. While current recommendations advise parents to keep cribs bare to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, crib bumpers remain widely sold by retailers. Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09) has introduced a companion version of the legislation in the U.S House of Representatives along with Representatives Bobby Rush (D-IL-01) and Robin Kelly (D-IL-02).
“When it comes to keeping our children safe, we shouldn’t be taking unnecessary risks,” said Van Hollen. “The experts have spoken and their verdict is clear – baby bumpers are not safe and should no longer be sold in our country. States like Maryland are already leading the charge on this issue, and it’s past time for the federal government follow suit. I urge my colleagues to immediately pass this common-sense legislation to prohibit the sale of these dangerous products.”
“The fact that these deadly products can still be found on shelves across the country is extremely confusing to new parents who don’t believe stores would be selling them if they are truly dangerous to their children,” Duckworth said. “This is a critical safety issue and I’m proud to be working with my colleagues to pass this bill to help new parents and end these preventable deaths.”
“It’s past time for the country to recognize what Chicago long ago knew: crib bumpers aren’t safe and shouldn’t be in cribs,” said Schakowsky. “I am proud to introduce the Safe Cribs Act in the House with two of my colleagues from Chicago, Bobby Rush and Robin Kelly. And I thank my friend and fellow Illinoisan Senator Duckworth for leading this effort in the Senate. Together, we will work hard to ensure that no more children die from these unsafe products.”
“This bill is simple, but lifesaving. Dangerous and deadly crib bumpers shouldn’t be allowed,” Blumenthal said. “We can protect the lives of infants by keeping these pernicious products off the market throughout the United States.”
“Recognizing the risk these products pose to babies, Ohio took action two years ago to ban the sale of crib bumpers and help protect infants from suffocating while they sleep,” Brown said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in following Ohio’s lead by introducing legislation that would ban the sale of these products nationally, help keep babies safe while they sleep, and prevent future infant deaths,” said Brown.
“Sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS, and other sleep deaths tragically claim the lives of too many newborns in America,” Durbin said. “We now know that keeping a crib bare can help reduce the chances of death or injury. The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a ban on crib bumpers to reduce the risk of SIDS and sleep deaths. Our bill sets out to follow in the footsteps of a law in Chicago that outlawed the sale of crib bumpers. A parent’s upmost concern is protecting their infant from harm, and this bill takes an important step to prevent these awful tragedies.”
“Where we can use the best available science to save lives, we have an obligation to act,” said Cardin. “The Safe Cribs Act of 2019 codifies what the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Product Safety Commission, National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control already agree on: crib bumpers are not worth the risk to infant lives.”
The legislation has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Federation of America and Kids in Danger. In 2011, the City of Chicago became the first city to ban the sale of crib bumpers. Maryland and Ohio also banned the sale of these products in 2013 and 2017 respectively, with minor exceptions. The Senators’ legislation would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to enforce a ban nationwide.
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