Letter to the Editor of the Journal of Pediatrics
Friday, February 17, 2017
Posted by: Lauren Schoener-Gaynor
An Accurate Account of Crib Bumper Cases
To the Editor:
The article by Scheers et al inaccurately attributes infant deaths in cribs to crib bumper pads, claims that deaths attributable to crib bumpers are on the rise, and concludes that the risks of using crib bumpers outweighs its benefits. In fact, after an exhaustive review and evaluation of first responder reports, medical examiner reports, coroner investigations, scene reenactments, autopsies, patient medical histories, and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) investigations, CPSC staff, in a briefing package sent to the Commission on September 9, 2016, dispute such claims. This briefing package specifically states that the CPSC believes that its methodology is superior to that used in the report by Scheers et al and provides a more accurate assessment of crib-related incidents.
This briefing package was published in response to a petition filed in May 2012 by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association requesting that the CPSC initiate rule making for the product category. The CPSC noted that crib bumpers prevent incidents and injuries involving impact against crib sides and limb entrapment, and argued that by removing the option for parents to purchase crib bumpers, some consumers might increase the use of soft bedding in the crib, creating a potentially hazardous makeshift barrier. Furthermore, the report suggested that based on its data, the CPSC will not meet the threshold for rule making, justifying banning the products because crib bumpers that meet the ASTM standards are not a hazardous substance and do not present an unreasonable risk of injury.
Parents deserve guidance by the medical community based on sound science and good data. It is imperative that the information provided by the CPSC be accurately reported in lieu of the report by Scheers et al. The safety of children depends on it.
Kelly Mariotti, JD, CPA, CAE
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey