SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois lawmakers are again considering a ban on crib bumper pads along with a proposal to set state safety standards for the product.
House lawmakers approved a bill that bans the sale of crib bumpers, the (Springfield) State Journal-Register reported, along with another bill that wouldn’t restrict sales but instead set state standards for the crib padding.
The padded crib lining is intended to keep infants’ limbs from getting caught between crib bars and to protect them from bumping their heads against side rails.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that crib bumpers can cause infants to suffocate. An Illinois Senate committee endorsed a crib bumper ban in 2014. The city of Chicago has banned the product, and state daycare centers aren’t allowed to use them. Maryland lawmakers approved a similar ban two years ago.
“Having a bare crib is best. Bumpers absolutely negate that,” said Rep. Emily McAsey, D-Lockford. “I believe to further that message and to protect our infants that this is a very important step forward to get this dangerous product that we know has been linked to dozens of deaths off the market in the state.”
Her bill allows for the sales of mesh crib liners without padding.
But Rep. Rita Mayfield, sponsor of the bill requiring crib manufacturers to abide by state-specified standards, questioned the link between bumper pads and infant deaths.
“There was not one case that was directly attributable to a bumper pad,” said Mayfield, a Democrat from Waukegan. “Yes, they were present, but in many cases, the child wasn’t even touching the bumper pad, but that case was used to blame the bumper pad.”
A 2011 study from the Illinois Department of Public Health showed as many as 30 percent of parents use bumpers. Mayfield and industry groups such as the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association said a state ban would cause parents to instead cross state lines to buy bumper pads, or even concoct their own padding using towels, pillows or blankets.