If you are a reader and watcher of all things baby, you may have seen a segment done on the Today Show, which they called an "Investigative Report" on Crib Bumpers. Well, since the Today Show is not in the business of protecting babies as their job...there is obviously some major discrepancies between what they say and what JPMA says. Below is the JPMA's response on the subject:
Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), an association dedicated to
promoting the safe selection and use of juvenile products, maintains
that crib bumper pads can help prevent injury when used correctly.
Traditional crib bumpers prevent head injuries and limb entrapment, the
leading causes of crib injuries in children today.
JPMA has also urged the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) via
petition last week to adopt a mandatory rule to define and distinguish
between hazardous “soft” pillow-like crib bumper pads and traditional
crib bumpers. The petition further outlines JPMA’s opinion that parents
will benefit from a clarifying standard when shopping in retail
In 2011, JPMA commissioned a third party review of previous studies
of crib bumpers by Exponent, a leading engineering and scientific
consulting firm providing solutions to complex technical problems. Based
on the outcomes of the studies that were reviewed, Exponent found that
there were methodological problems that were apparent in the criteria
used to select the incidents included for analysis and in the analytical
treatment of other potential contributors. When JPMA attempted to
provide the American Academy of Pediatrics the study in 2011,
unfortunately they did not respond to requests to review the data.
“Our fear is that if there is an elimination of traditional crib
bumpers, parents will still want the product and will begin creating
their own makeshift bumper as a protective barrier from the tight
slat/spindle dimensions and hard wooden surface of the crib slats," said
Michael Dwyer CAE, Executive Director of JPMA. “We are already seeing
early evidence of this in social networking forums and through injury
reports, and parents need to be able to trust products that are
currently available on store shelves that have passed rigorous safety
and reliability tests.”
Data demonstrates that the message is not always reaching the child
rearing population or perhaps is being ignored. As a result, JPMA is
concerned that any recommendations that result in the de facto
elimination of safe and useful products specifically designed for infant
use, will have unintended consequences. Experience in cities such as
Milwaukee, Baltimore, and Chicago suggests this is a significant problem
that needs to be addressed.
“Manufacturers are committed to working with CPSC and other
stakeholders to develop a mandatory standard for crib bumper pads,”
continued Dwyer. “The standard process, led by ASTM is currently
underway for infant bedding and crib bumpers. JPMA believes that the
ASTM crib bumper dynamic requirements, which were supported by the
subcommittee, can now provide a reasonable basis for a Federal crib
bumper performance standard that distinguishes safe products and allows
choices for parents.”
ASTM, formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials,
facilitates discussions to establish voluntary standards for a variety
of industries including juvenile products. Manufacturers, along side
consumer advocates, government agencies and engineers, have been working
to define the crib bumper standard to help parents in their selection
Currently balloted items include enhancements to the warning
statements to ensure parents are properly using and affixing bumper
products in cribs. This, along with a new test method to measure bumper
thickness and the strength of ties, will result in a stronger standard.
These products should meet Federal guidelines. Child safety is
paramount. Assurance that products are designed with quality, safety,
performance and functionality in mind can be achieved with such a
standard. This assures that parents and caregivers are given a range of
choices and safe sleep options for their family.
JPMA provides resources to all stakeholders including retailers and parents to help educate them on the proper use of crib bumpers.
In its 50 year history, JPMA has dedicated tremendous resources to
public safety awareness campaigns assisting parents in their baby
product research. The landmark 2010 Safe Sleep awareness campaign
continues to help parents today design a safe and functional nursery.
Parents can find tips and recommendations when outfitting baby’s sleep
environment at www.cribsafety.org
and through safety tip inserts provided with product packaging for the
last decade. JPMA is urging other organizations, physicians and
companies to dedicate resources to awareness campaigns to help parents
make informed decisions.