New law bans crib bumpers, inclined sleepers for babies

Certain baby sleeping products are being banned because of safety concerns and linked deaths.
Certain baby sleeping products are being banned because of safety concerns and linked deaths.(Arizona's Family)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 10:53 AM PDT
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A new law will soon prohibit the sale of two types of infant sleep products that have been linked to more than 200 babies’ deaths. President Biden signed the Safe Sleep for Babies Act, which prohibits manufacturers and retailers from making or selling padded crib bumpers and inclined sleepers because of the risk of suffocation.

Nancy Cowles, the executive director of Kids in Danger (KID), says the new law will save lives “This declares those two products in particular a hazardous substance, in other words they can not be sold, either new or used. It doesn’t matter when they were manufactured. They are simply not to be sold anymore,” Cowles said.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, infants should sleep on their backs in a crib with nothing in the crib. “It’s a hard enough message to get across to families. Having these unsafe products in the marketplace has made it even harder and led to deaths, and that’s what we’re hoping to stop with this legislation,” Cowles said.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, between 1990 and 2019, there were 113 reported deaths involving crib bumpers, and dozens of infant deaths have been linked to inclined sleeping products. Sara Thompson’s 15-week-old baby, Alexander, died in 2011 in a now-recalled Fisher-Price Rock ‘n Play Sleeper. “After years of perseverance and many tears, the Safe Sleep for Babies Act has finally been signed into law,” Thompson said in a statement. “Hopefully, this will help lower the number of preventable infant deaths. For all of our angels and all of the grieving parents, this is a victory in their memory. I urge parents now to take the danger seriously and listen to the science.”

The Safe Sleep for Babies Act will go into effect in six months, giving retailers and manufacturers time to comply. Some retailers, including Target and Walmart, stopped selling padded crib bumpers years ago. But 3 On Your Side found dozens of padded crib bumper options available on sites, including Etsy. We asked the company what its plans are to ensure sellers on the site comply with the new law. Etsy did not respond to our question, but according to its policies, the company does prohibit the sale of several types of products, including illegal items.