By Abigail Green
1:06 PM EDT, May 28, 2013
Last year the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that parents not use bumper pads in cribs, citing them as a safety risk. Maryland was quick to respond, and starting June 21, the sale of crib bumpers is banned by the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. We turned to Dr. Timothy Doran, chairman of Pediatrics at GBMC, to tell us what every parent of an infant needs to know:
What are the risks of using crib bumpers?
Babies can get trapped or suffocate or have a SIDS event with them. Cribs should be devoid of anything soft. Pads can restrict breathing if the baby’s nose or mouth is up against it.
Are there any benefits to crib bumpers?
At one time crib slats were wide enough that babies’ heads or limbs could get through and become trapped. [Crib slats are now required to be a standard width of 2 3/8 inches apart, about the width of a soda can.] Parents worry about arms and legs getting through but studies show serious injury is not likely. There’s no reason for bumpers.
Note: The crib bumper ban does not restrict the sale of mesh crib bumpers.
What should parents know about putting their baby to sleep in a crib?
They should have a firm, hard mattress that fits snugly against the sides of the crib. There should be nothing else in the crib.Dr. Doran and the Maryland department of health support the ABCs of safe sleep: infants should sleep Alone, on their Backs, and in a Crib.
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