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CPSC Advances Rulemaking on Crib Bumpers to Protect Infants; Proposed Rule Would Remove Padded, Pillow-like Bumpers from the Market

Release Date: March 26, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In an effort to protect infants from suffocation and death associated with padded crib bumpers, last week the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously to advance rulemaking on a federal safety standard for crib bumpers. The proposed rule would prohibit the sale of padded, pillow-like bumpers that fail to meet minimum air flow requirements. 

The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPR) posits a mandatory safety standard for crib bumpers that would replace the current voluntary ASTM standard with tougher requirements to reduce the risk of injury and death to infants. The most notable change is the new airflow requirement, proposing that bumpers must allow for minimum airflow similar to mesh liners. Without sufficient airflow, infants can suffocate when they roll against the crib bumper and become wedged between bumper and mattress, or when the pillow-like surface of the bumper completely obstructs their mouth and nose. 

In addition to the new airflow requirement, the proposed rule would reduce the allowable crib bumper thickness to under 2” and would add a firmness requirement for crib bumpers.  

The agency is now seeking comments on its proposal and alternative approaches. See the Federal Register notice.

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products has contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.

Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.

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