Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Bumper Pad Study

A study appearing in the September issue of the Journal of Pediatrics found 27 accidental deaths reported by authorities of infants that were suffocated or strangled by bumper pads or bumper pad ties between 1985-2005. They also found records of 25 non-fatal injuries also attributed to bumper pads.

Researchers from Washington Univ. School of Medicine in St. Louis, who performed the study, looked at 22 bumper pads in terms of safety. Specifically, they looked at softness, potential space between bumper bottom and mattress, width and length of the pads, and the length of the fasteners. Manufacturing standards limit tie length to 9 inches, but two of the pads examined exceeded that length.

It seems that both soft pads and firm pads pose problems. Dr. Bradley Thatch said, "If the pads are too soft, the baby's nose or face can get pressed up against it, and the baby suffocates. If they are too firm, the baby can climb up on the pads and fall out of the crib."

In the end researches ruled all 22 of the pads they examined hazardous because there was room for an infant to get their head wedged in between the pad and the mattress. Dr. Thatch recommends not using any sort of bumper in cribs or bassinets.

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