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.