JPMA expresses concern about communicating inconsistent messages to parents.
MOUNT LAUREL, NJ - The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), a non-profit association dedicated to promoting the industry and the safe selection and use of juvenile products, is concerned about the inconsistent communication of messages to parents regarding crib bumper pad use.
“JPMA is disappointed to learn about Attorney General Madigan’s position on crib bumper pad use from the Chicago Tribune,” said Michael Dwyer, CAE executive director of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. “We contacted Madigan’s office in October to discuss a partnership on JPMA’s Safe Sleep Campaign, and to date, have not received a response.”
Additionally, the Chicago Tribune article claims that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has “sounded an alarm on the product.” According to a December 17, 2010 email from the AAP to JPMA, the best resource and most up to date recommendations from the AAP on bumper pad use are in The Injury Prevention Program on crib safety.
JPMA has consistently noted the following recommendations for crib bumper pad use, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- If bumper pads are used, remove them when the baby begins to stand so that they can't be used as a step.
- Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, soft or pillow-like bumpers, stuffed toys and other soft products from the crib.
JPMA also recommends that parents and caregivers select bumper pads that fit around the entire crib, and tie or snap securely into place.
Consistent messages, ongoing communication and awareness are keys to helping educate parents and caregivers on the importance of creating a safe sleep environment for babies. JPMA has created many safety resources for parents, including brochures, videos, messages through Twitter and Facebook and a website solely dedicated to safe sleep – cribsafety.org. JPMA’s well-developed position on bedding and bumper pad use and commitment to educating consumers has been historically consistent with the hazard analysis conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
“The key issue is to distinguish between ‘pillow-like’ bumpers and traditional infant bumpers which were determined not to present a substantial hazard by the CPSC. Unless there’s a clear distinction between ‘soft’ bedding and ‘pillow-like’ bumpers, traditional bumper pad products can be erroneously characterized as a suffocation risk,” stated Dwyer.
In addition, according to incident data provided by the CPSC, the effectiveness of bumper pads is supported with data related to limb entrapment. CPSC staff considered 3,520 incidents (includes fatalities, nonfatalities, and non-injury incidents) involving full-size cribs to identify hazard patterns related to these incidents, which were grouped into four broad categories: (1) Product-related; (2) non-product-related; (3) recall-related; and (4) miscellaneous.
Approximately 12 percent of these incidents were related to infants getting their limbs caught between the crib slats, which is preventable with bumper use. More detail is provided in the Epidemiology staff’s memorandum that was part of the CPSC staff’s briefing package for the new crib regulation and is available on the CPSC website at: http://www.cpsc.gov/library/foia/foia10/brief/104cribs.pdf.
Additionally, JPMA has commissioned a study of bumper pads, and the organization is currently reviewing outcomes and data from the study, while considering submission of the final results for peer review and publishing in a medical journal. The JPMA commissioned study analyzes outcomes from multiple studies, including the Thach study published in the Journal of Pediatrics in 2007. Initial analysis of the Thach study showed troubling methodological concerns. An additional study from the United Kingdom found that there is no statistical association between bumper pad usage and death by a SIDS diagnosis in 256 SIDS infants.
JPMA has a long history supporting the ASTM in creating voluntary guidelines for infant products, which includes infant bedding and bumper pads. Based on the outcomes of the JPMA commissioned study, there have been mechanical parameters identified that can be utilized by ASTM to develop enhanced infant bedding standards and implemented by manufacturers to ensure the safest product for babies. Some of the mechanical parameters outlined in the study include softness, malleability, permeability and rebreathing. Today, there are no federal guidelines governing crib bumper pads. JPMA encourages additional and ongoing safety reviews of infant crib bumper pads.
“JPMA and our members want to work with all stakeholders including advocacy groups, parents and regulators to seek ways to improve the voluntary standard for infant bedding and to ensure the communication of consistent safety messages to parents and caregivers,” said Dwyer.
In addition to educating parents, JPMA routinely communicates safety messages to other important audiences, including retailers, media and partners, and we look forward to working with all stakeholders, with an interest in the health and well-being of children to disseminate accurate safety information about childcare.
For a full list of JPMA safe sleep recommendations, please visit cribsafety.org, a website dedicated to helping educate parents and caregivers on the importance of creating a safe sleep environment for their baby.
About the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) is a national trade organization of more than 250 companies in the United States, Canada and Mexico. JPMA exists to advance the interests, growth and well-being of North American prenatal to preschool product manufacturers, importers and distributors marketing under their own brands to consumers. It does so through advocacy, public relations, information sharing, product performance certification and business development assistance conducted with appreciation for the needs of parents, children and retailers.
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