Early in 2010, KID learned of two deaths involving crib bumper pads. One was six month old Aiden in Texas, the other, seven week old Preston in Alaska. These preventable deaths strengthened our resolve to continue to warn parents about the dangers of crib bumper pads. KID began addressing the issue after the 2007 release of ground-breaking research by Dr. Bradley Thach showing a link between crib bumper pad use and infant death.
Now, Joshua Sharfstein, Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Health, has taken it even further than a warning. He recently appointed a panel to review the issue and their recommendation, made last week, is to ban the sale of crib bumper pads in Maryland.
You may remember, Sharfstein, while FDA director, joined CPSC in warning consumers about the risks of sleep positioners. That warning led to the virtual elimination of that dangerous product – at least in the new products market.
KID supports this move to either ban crib bumper pads or at the very least, give parents a warning of the risks of the product. With bumper pads ubiquitous in ads for nursery furniture and crowding retail store aisles, it is not surprising that many parents buy them with little idea of the risks they pose.
Getting information out about that risk to parents and caregivers has been the mission of Aiden’s grandmother and Preston’s parents. Tami, Aiden’s grandmother, is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail to raise awareness of the risks of bumpers and to fund her project to educate parents. Preston’s parents submitted comments to the Maryland panel reviewing bumper pad dangers and continue to speak out wherever possible to reach more parents.