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Crib Bumpers Lead to Infant Deaths -- Defective Product

Crib bumpersare plush, cushion inserts attached to baby cribs, providing a soft inside wall. Made of polyester and cotton, crib bumpers can be plush and soft, creating a deadly environment for infants. Similar to downy pillows or fluffy blankets, infants can often become trapped against these materials and asphyxiate. In addition, the fabric ties used to fasten the pads to the crib can often become untied, encircling the baby’s neck and strangling them. Crib bumpers have been shown to cause serious injury, even death. In fact, there have been 27 accidental deaths reported by medical examiners or coroners that were attributed to bumper pads. [1]

rib bumpers were originally used to prevent babies from becoming trapped between slats, but with reduced spacing between slats, they’re now primarily used for cushioning the sides of the crib. Crib bumpers are generally made by two companies: Circo, which is distributed exclusively by Target, and Carters, which can be found at Linens N Things, Wal-Mart and Sears.

There are three types of fatalities involving crib bumpers: the infant’s face is compressed against the bumper; the bumper ties are around the infant’s neck; and the infant becomes wedged between bumper and other object. In the first type of cases, infants were asphixiated by having their nose/mouth compressed into the bumper material. Plush bumpers with more padding pose the greatest risk.[2] In addition, the fabric ties on some bumper pads can become wrapped around an infant’s neck, resulting in strangulation.

Finally, other cases resulted in the infant becoming trapped between the pad and another object, like the mattress. Since many babies lack the strength or motor skills to extract themselves from this position, this often resulted in suffocation. To date, 27 accidental deaths can be attributed to bumper pads.[3]

rib bumpers are unreasonably dangerous, and should be avoided. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed by a crib bumper, you may have a legal cause of action, and should immediately consult with an attorney to further understand your legal rights. Contact GRESHAM pc for a free consultation.


[1] “Deaths and Injuries Attributed to Infant Crib Bumper Pads,” Bradley T. Thach, MD, George W. Rutherford, JR, MS, and Kathleen Harris, The Journal of Pediatrics, pp. 271-274 (September 2007).

[2] Several organizations, including the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have stated that crib bumpers are a potential risk when they are “pillow-like.”

[3] “Crib safety tips – use your crib safely,” Consumer Products Safety Commission. Document no. 5030. Available at www.cpsc.gov. Accessed April 28, 2010.

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