Chicago personal injury attorneys and other industry professionals are encouraged to hear that Chicago may become the first city in the country to ban the sale of crib bumper pads if an ordinance introduced earlier this week is approved by the City Council. The Chicago Tribune reports, “Ald. James Balcer, 11th, and George Cardenas, 12th, introduced the ordinance in response to a series of Tribune investigations that found babies have suffocated against bumper pads.”
There is increasing evidence that crib bumpers are not safe, highlighted in recent months by the Chicago Tribune’s research and subsequent warnings from the Illinois Attorney General and many child safety groups.
Crib bumpers were originally intended to prevent children’s heads and limbs from getting stuck between crib slats. However, it has been several years since regulations for the minimum size between crib slats was changed to prevent such incidents. As a result, crib bumpers should be obsolete – yet they continue to be sold and marketed as part of the majority of baby nursery bedding sets.
Additionally, because the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association has made the statement that “There is no evidence of a causal connection between crib bumpers and suffocation, when the product is used as intended,” and the Consumer Product Safety Commission has only said that they will continue to investigate the issue, new parents may be unaware of the risks. There are many people who believe that if something is sold in stores without warnings or restrictions, it must be safe. Chicago personal injury attorneys know how often that misconception can lead to personal injury or even wrongful death.
Part of the problem with determining whether crib bumpers lead to infant death by suffocation is that there is often more than one suffocation hazard in cribs – making it difficult to single out crib bumpers as the culprit. Both blankets and stuffed animals, often placed in infants cribs for comfort by unsuspecting parents, can be suffocation hazards.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys applaud the efforts of the City Council and hope that while the CPSC continues its research into crib bumper safety that other cities and states take steps to ban unsafe items.