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Chapter 1. Increasing Number of Infant Sleep Deaths Being Linked to Crib Bumpers
Little bub on the way? Picking out the nursery bedding and the crib? There are many important things you should know when deciding on your new baby’s bedding situation, this being right up there, as it really is possible life or death when it comes to the matter of crib bumpers.
“The number of babies who have died because of this common crib bedding has tripled in the last seven years of data available. That’s according to authors of a study that looked at infant deaths since 1985.” // cnn.com
That’s a scary statistic. What’s even scarier, is that baby bumpers are readily sold and available, and many parents aren’t aware of the inherent danger to their child, by placing these in your crib.
What may seem like a small number of 23 bumper-related deaths reported between 2006 and 2012, the fact is all of these deaths were most likely totally preventable by not having bumpers placed in the crib. This is the figure that is triple that of the last two decades.
“Crib bumpers are killing kids,” said senior author Bradley T. Thach, MD, a professor emeritus of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the author of the first major study to document crib-bumper deaths, published in 2007. “Bumpers are more dangerous than we originally thought. The infant deaths we studied could have been prevented if the cribs were empty.” // whattoexpect.com
Between 1990 and 2012, another 146 infants were nearly killed due to bumpers. The danger range is between 1 and 22 months old, with the mean of between 4 and 5 months old. The most common recorded causes of death were when babies’ noses or mouth became covered by the bumper, or they became stuck between the bumper and the mattress.
What should I use instead?
If you’re worried about your baby bumping her head or getting limbs stuck between slats, while bad, it’s not life threatening. Sleep sacks are recommended in an empty crib. Thach goes on to say that crib bumpers don’t serve any purpose, as babies’ were still bumping their heads even though bumpers were in the crib. He says that there is one definite way to prevent bumper related infant deaths, and that is to not use them, ever!
“I think based on the best data we have now, we are saying no to any kind of soft bedding, including bumpers, should be included in the crib,” said Lorena Kaplan, the Safe to Sleep Campaign lead at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
Kaplan said that even if bumpers are still easy to buy that doesn’t make them a good option, she said. “You can walk into a store and buy cigarettes, too, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good for you.” // cnn.com
The safest way to sleep your baby
Your baby should sleep…
- On her back
- In a crib or bassinet
- In a room that is very well ventilated
- With nothing in the crib, such as no toys, blankets, etc…
- Dressed lightly
- Preferably with a pacifier