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Preventing Death in Cribs — CDC Says Keep Them Empty [VIDEO]

Baby in crib
Scott Olson, Getty Images

It’s no secret that certain kinds of cribs — especially the drop-side variety — can pose a danger to your children. But a new report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says that toys, bumpers and blankets kept in cribs can be hazardous, as well.

According to the CDC, cases of infant suffocation are on the rise, and it blames the accessories that parents typically use along with cribs. In fact, doctors say, babies under the age of one could easily suffocate if a crib product cuts off their flow of air.

In 2009 alone, the CDC says that 665 babies died from “accidental suffocation of strangulation while in bed.” The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that bumpers, for example, can be dangerous and should never be used. In Chicago, stores are banned from selling them altogether.

“The manufacturers should stop making the bumpers, which really have no place in a baby’s crib and no place, therefore, ever,” said Dr. Eileen Tyrala, medical director of Cribs for Kids.

And yet, crib accessories are still widely available and used by many parents. Linda Woody of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association said that bumpers can actually be beneficial, and prevent head injuries and limb entrapment. Parents should decide what accessories to use for themselves after consulting with a pediatrician, she argued.

“Parents need to make a decision for themselves what items they would like to use inside their crib,” she said. “Parents in concert with their pediatricians and themselves, they know what’s best for their family.”



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