Bipartisan Bill Introduced by Portman, Duckworth to Protect Infants from Deadly “Crib Bumpers” Passes Congress, Soon to Be Signed Into Law

Since 1985, dozens of deaths and more than 100 serious injuries have been directly attributed to these dangerous products

May 4, 2022 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) to protect infant lives by banning the sale of padded crib bumpers — which have been proven to pose an unnecessary, deadly risk to sleeping infants — passed Congress last evening and is now headed to the White House to be signed into law by President Joe Biden. The Safe Cribs Act, which was included in the legislation also banning dangerous inclined sleeper products, would make it unlawful nationwide to manufacture and import crib bumpers, which remain widely sold by retailers despite current recommendations advising parents to keep cribs bare to prevent sudden infant death syndrome. The senators’ legislation would direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to enforce a ban on padded crib bumpers nationwide.

“The use of padded crib bumpers poses an unnecessary threat to the health and safety of infants everywhere, there is no reason the sale of these items should continue,” said Portman. “I am pleased that this legislation is finally heading to the president’s desk. I urge him to sign it into law quickly so that we may immediately begin protecting infants from the unnecessary and unacceptable risk of these products.”

“The fact that deadly crib bumpers 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,” said Duckworth. “We should be doing everything we can to help new parents and prevent needless deaths like these, which is why I’m glad our bipartisan bill to end the sale of deadly padded crib bumpers finally passed Congress and is now headed to President Biden’s desk.”

Portman and Duckworth introduced this legislation in April of 2021 and it passed the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation (CST) Committee by voice vote later that same month. In March, the Senate passed the bill. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which contained identical language to the Safe Cribs Act banning crib bumpers, in June 2021.   

The legislation has been endorsed by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Kids in Danger, Consumer Federation of American and Breathable Baby. A 2020 survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that many parents falsely believe crib bumpers are safe, mistakenly assume that crib bumpers would have been removed from the market if unsafe and by nearly a five to one margin, expressed support for the view that if crib bumpers were linked to infant deaths, these products should not be sold.  

Senator Portman has long been a pro-life advocate and staunch supporter of efforts to reduce infant mortality. This legislation goes hand and hand with those efforts, ensuring that babies are protected from the risk of suffocation and death posed by padded crib bumpers.  

Ohio banned the sale of these products in 2017, with minor exceptions – as did Maryland in 2013. In 2011, the City of Chicago became the first city to ban the sale of crib bumpers.