Portman, Duckworth, Blumenthal Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Protect Infants from Deadly “Crib Bumpers”

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

April 20, 2021 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced bipartisan legislation today to protect infant lives by banning the sale of crib bumpers, which have been proven to pose an unnecessary, deadly risk to sleeping infants. The Safe Cribs Act would also 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 require the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to enforce a ban nationwide.

“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 an unnecessary and unacceptable risk.”

“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,” said Duckworth. “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.”

“This bill would ensure deadly and dangerous crib bumpers are pulled off store shelves,” said Blumenthal. “New parents can still unwittingly purchase this perilous padding for their children’s cribs despite dozens of babies suffocating. I’m glad to back this bipartisan effort with Senators Duckworth and Portman to prevent more needless tragedies.”

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

The legislation has also been endorsed by multiple pediatric associations:

“The only way to minimize the serious hazard that padded crib bumpers pose to children is to ensure that these products are taken off store shelves nationwide, which is exactly what the Safe Cribs Act seeks to do,” said Rachel Weintraub, Legislative Director and General Counsel with Consumer Federation of America. “We applaud the introduction of this important bipartisan legislation and urge swift passage to protect infants in the United States.”

“Pediatricians know that the safest sleep environment for babies is a firm, flat, bare surface,” said AAP President Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP. “Crib bumpers have no place in a safe sleep environment – they pose a risk of suffocation for infants and should not be on the market. The Safe Cribs Act would protect infant lives and help prevent families from experiencing tragedy by prohibiting the sale of these dangerous products. The American Academy of Pediatrics thanks Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) for their bipartisan leadership on this important legislation and is urging for its swift passage into law.”

“Crib bumpers pads pose a real risk of suffocation and confuse parents on how best to create a safe sleep environment,” said Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids In Danger (KID). It is hard to convince parents to follow the ‘bare is best’ safe sleep messaging of removing padded items such as pillows from the crib when they are being sold padding to wrap around the crib at the same time.”