Chicago personal injury attorneys were pleased to see the City of Chicago leading the charge and becoming the first city to ban the sale of crib bumper pads earlier this year. The catalyst for the change was a report published by the Chicago Tribune, cautioning readers that bumper pads were a suffocation hazard and had contributed, if not been the primary cause of, several infant wrongful deaths over the years.
Previously, the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines recommended that crib bumpers should be thin, firm, well secured and not “pillow-like” to prevent suffocation hazards. However, the latest policy update (which will serve as a guide for pediatricians and other medical professionals nationwide) recommends not using crib bumpers at all.
“Many parents will soon hear from their pediatricians that bumper pads
should not be used in cribs because babies can suffocate against or be
strangled by the popular bedding product. The American Academy of
Pediatrics set the guideline for its physicians as part of updated
policies to create safer sleep environments for babies and reduce the
risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
The Academy also issued a statement indicating that while the number of deaths associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has declined over the past two decades, sleep-related deaths from entrapment, asphyxia and suffocation have risen.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, along with other consumer safety advocate groups, use the “ABC’s of Safe Sleep” to help new parents remember how to keep their babies safe while sleeping. They are as follows:
- Alone: It is recommended that infants sleep alone, rather than with their parents (called co-sleeping) to avoid accidental suffocation or other accidents.
- Back: Unlike in years past, when parents were afraid to put babies on their backs to sleep out of fear that they may spit up and aspirate, it has now been determined that the safest position for a sleeping infant is on its back.
- Crib: For optimum safety, infants should be put to sleep in their crib – not an infant positioner, bouncer, or any other surface. A crib provides a flat, firm sleep surface – the safest option for an infant.
The common denominator between all these sleep recommendations is that small infants lack the motor skills to turn their heads and bodies if they find themselves pressed up against an object. By following the ABC’s outlined above, you are minimizing the likelihood that your baby will suffocate while sleeping.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys applaud the efforts of the Chicago Tribune, the City of Chicago and now the American Academy of Pediatrics to increase awareness about safe sleep practices by banning unsafe products from nurseries everywhere.