President Biden Passes Bill Prohibiting Sale of Crib Bumpers, Aims to Reduce Possible Infant Deaths

The bill, introduced by Senators Tammy Duckworth, Rob Portman and Richard Blumenthal, seeks to reduce infant deaths from padding that could lead to suffocation

Adorable baby girl sleeping soundly in the crib
Photo: Tang Ming Tung/Getty

President Joe Biden has signed new legislation that bans the sale of padded crib bumpers, which have been proven to pose risks to sleeping infants.

The Safe Sleep for Babies Act of 2021 (H.R. 3182), signed into law on Monday, prohibits the manufacture and sale of crib bumpers or inclined sleepers for infants. The bill was first introduced last May by Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

According to the legislation, crib bumpers are defined as "padded materials inserted around the inside of a crib and intended to prevent the crib occupant from becoming trapped in any part of the crib's openings; they do not include unpadded, mesh crib liners."

A press release from Sen. Duckworth notes that the legislation seeks to protect infant lives as crib bumpers have been "proven to pose an unnecessary, deadly risk to sleeping infants." Padding has been considered a risk as infants can press their faces against the pad, leading to possible suffocation.

"The fact that these deadly products can still be found on shelves across the country is extremely confusing to new parents who don't believe stores would be selling them if they were truly dangerous to babies," Duckworth said in the release. "We should be doing everything we can to help new parents and end preventable deaths like these, which is why I'm proud to be introducing this bipartisan bill with Senators Portman and Blumenthal that would ban the sale of deadly padded crib bumpers."

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by imageBROKER/Shutterstock (1377779a) MODEL RELEASED Baby boy, 2 months, lying in his crib, surrounded by numerous stuffed animals, and observing a hanging mobile, Germany, Europe VARIOUS

Added Blumenthal, "This bill would ensure deadly and dangerous crib bumpers are pulled off store shelves. New parents can still unwittingly purchase this perilous padding for their children's cribs despite dozens of babies suffocating."

Chicago became the first city to ban the sale of crib bumpers in 2011, with Maryland and Ohio following suit in 2013 and 2017, respectively, according to the release.

"The use of crib bumpers pose an unnecessary threat to the health and safety of infants everywhere, there is no reason the sale of these dangerous items should continue," said Portman. "My home state of Ohio has already banned these harmful products. Congress must also act to protect infants from any unnecessary and unacceptable risk."

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should be put to sleep on their backs in a bare environment (no blankets, pillows, stuffed toys, or bumper pads) and on a firm sleep surface.

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