WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) to introduce legislation to protect babies’ lives by banning the sale of crib bumpers in the United States.
The Safe Cribs Act would also make it unlawful to manufacture and import crib bumpers, which are marketed as necessary for infant safety even though 48 babies have died as a result of suffocation attributed to them between 1985 and 2012, and 146 infants have been injured. While current recommendations advise parents to keep cribs bare to prevent sudden infant death syndrome, crib bumpers remain widely sold by retailers.
“Recognizing the risk these products pose to babies, Ohio took action two years ago to ban the sale of crib bumpers and help protect infants from suffocating while they sleep. I’m proud to join my colleagues in following Ohio’s lead by introducing legislation that would ban the sale of these products nationally, help keep babies safe while they sleep, and prevent future infant deaths,” said Brown.
Brown’s efforts have the support of Ohio health officials. Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts praised the introduction of Brown’s bill.
“Too many babies die every year from unsafe sleep environments due to crib bumpers and other items in a crib when babies are sleeping. Babies are safest sleeping alone, on their backs and in an empty crib, and this ban will help parents protect their babies from a tragic and preventable death,” said Dr. Roberts.
The legislation has also been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Federation of America and Kids in Danger. In 2011, the City of Chicago became the first city to ban the sale of crib bumpers. Maryland and Ohio also banned the sale of these products in 2013 and 2017 respectively, with minor exceptions. The Senators’ legislation would require the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to enforce a ban nationwide.