Are cot bumpers safe?

Bumper Pads are a risk to babies - the Daily Mail

Click on image to read article on Daily Mail website.

Traditional cot bumpers are not recommended in countries including the US, Canada and Australia for the following reasons:

  • by restricting the flow of fresh air in and out of the cot, the bumpers may contribute to overheating and re-breathing of exhaled air.
  • Just like a pillow or thick blanket, cot bumpers can restrict a baby’s breathing if they come into contact with their nose and mouth.
  • The ties used to attach bumpers to the cot can cause accidents if they are pulled loose.
  • Older babies may use bumpers as an aid to climb out of the cot.

Overheating, re-breathing of exhaled air and lack of oxygen are all risk factors which have been associated with SIDS (cot death).

Get bumpers out of cribs, doctor group urges

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In the US, a 2007 study found that 27 infant deaths were directly attributable to cot bumpers in the US over a 20 year period (0f the 27 deaths, 11 infants suffocated when their face was found in close contact with the padding, 13 died after being wedged between the bumper and another object and 3 were strangled by a bumper tie).  An investigation by the Chicago Tribune revealed that at least 14 infant suffocation deaths have been linked with bumpers since 2008.  As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), an organisation of 60,000 doctors, declared in 2013 that cot bumpers should not be used in cots, and so far the city of Chicago and state of Maryland have banned them.

In the UK, as no studies have been done on bumpers, parents are being given mixed messages.  However, in 2013 it was reported in the Loughborough Echo that a 9-month old from North-West Leicestershire passed away as a result of strangulation after managing to rip his cot bumper from his cot.

Maryland begins process to ban crib bumpers

‘ban would not apply to bumpers made from mesh’ – click on image to read article on Baltimore Sun website.

Elsewhere, Health Canada report that 23 incidents involving bumpers were reported to them over a 15 year period. In France, a cot bumper was recalled in 2006 after a 9 month old baby died due to strangulation by one of the cords.

The Cot Wrap® has been designed to reduce all of the risks associated with traditional cot bumpers:

  • It is made from soft cushioned mesh fabric which allows fresh air to circulate throughout the cot and prevents exhaled air from pooling around the baby.
  • Babies can breathe through the fabric should they press their face against it.
  • Velcro is used to attach the wrap to the cot rather than dangerous ties or cords.
  • The light fabric gives the baby a much smaller foothold to use for climbing out of the cot.

The Cot Wrap® has been extensively safety tested and is fully compliant with British Standard 1877 Part 10 for cot bumpers and with all applicable parts of EN-71.