This month we celebrated another victory for child safety, the Ohio crib bumper ban!
As of April 6th, 2017, Ohio will no longer sell non-mesh bumper pads. This ban follows three similar laws in Chicago, Maryland, and Watchung, New Jersey. The Ohio ban will be the second state-wide ban, a trend that we hope will continue until crib bumper pads are banned in all 50 states. The bans were recommended based on research done by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) on safe sleep. According to the AAP, it is best for a baby to sleep on their back and in a bare crib. Unnecessary and excess bedding, such as bumper pads, blankets, or stuffed animals pose a suffocation, entrapment, or strangulation hazard.
The new law will still allow mesh crib bumper pads to be sold for three years. After three years, the House of Representatives will review current research and the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s regulations to see whether or not the renewed ban will include mesh crib bumper pads.
The Ohio Department of Health understands the gravity of the crib bumper pad problem. They reported that between 1985 and 2005, 27 infant deaths were attributed to strangulation or suffocation by crib bumper pads. They stated that a combination of parental education and legislation similar to that of Maryland will prevent children from dying in their sleep.
Kids In Danger has been a long-time advocate for banning crib bumper pads at home in Illinois and across the country. However, we understand that legislation alone may not solve the problem entirely. In January of this year we published a study on the enforcement of the Chicago and Maryland crib bumper pads among online retailers. We found that of the 33 online retailers surveyed, 25 retailers permitted us to order and ship bumper pads to addresses in both Chicago and Maryland. After reaching out to different retailers asking them to change their policies, we received 3 responses by retailers saying that they either did not sell the product anymore or will look into changing their policies.
We are encouraged to see Ohio joining Chicago, Maryland, and Watchung, New Jersey in banning these dangerous and unnecessary products. However, the enforcement of this new law will be crucial for saving lives and keeping children safe while they sleep.