In September 2007, a study published in The Journal of Pediatrics concluded that crib bumpers are unsafe.
The study found 27 infant deaths that were traced to crib bumper pads, either because the baby’s face was pressed against the crib bumper, causing suffocation, or because the bumper tie got caught around the baby’s neck.
The study also found that crib bumpers don’t prevent serious injury. The study authors looked at injuries that could have been prevented by a crib bumper and found mostly minor injuries like bruises. Although there were some cases of broken bones caused by a baby’s arm or leg getting caught between crib slats, the study authors stated that a crib bumper wouldn’t necessarily prevent those injuries. They recommended that crib bumpers never be used.
In 2011, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) expanded its safe sleep guidelines to recommend that parents never use crib bumpers. Based on the 2007 study, the AAP stated: “There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment.”