November 29, 2016

Matthew R. Shay
President and Chief Executive Officer
National Retail Federation

Sandy Kennedy
President
Retail Industry Leaders Association

Dear Mr. Shay and Ms. Kennedy:

The undersigned consumer and child health advocacy organizations write to respectfully request that your member retailers discontinue all sales of padded crib bumpers. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is a non-profit professional organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical sub-specialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. The AAP is joined by Kids In Danger (KID), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting children by improving children’s product safety, Consumer Federation of America (CFA), a nonprofit organization that advances the consumer interest through research, advocacy and education, and Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of the independent, nonprofit organization Consumer Reports.

Child safety experts agree that crib bumpers contribute to an unsafe sleep environment, and do not belong in the marketplace. The AAP’s updated October 2016 policy statement on SIDS and other sleep-related infant deaths reiterated the expert guidance that crib bumpers should be banned because they pose a suffocation hazard. They are decorative only and serve no safety purpose whatsoever. Our organizations have repeatedly called on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ban these dangerous products.

On November 3, CPSC issued a statement that said the CPSC “strongly advise[s] the public to stop using padded crib bumpers,” and noted that “…[T]hey do nothing more than contribute to the deadly clutter in many of our nation’s cribs.” CPSC has also undertaken a process to begin developing a performance standard to eliminate dangerous padded crib bumpers over the next few years. This unequivocal statement is an important step in protecting infants from bumper-related suffocation deaths. In acknowledgement of this understanding of the risks crib bumpers pose, we respectfully request that your member retailers immediately stop selling padded crib bumpers.

These products are dangerous and serve no beneficial purpose. Their continued presence on store shelves and websites undermines the credibility of expert medical advice and is counter to the CPSC’s messaging. Ending sales of padded crib bumpers would prevent infant deaths and better enable parents and caregivers to make informed decisions about their infants’ safety. Your organization is uniquely situated to protect families from the tragic consequences that crib bumpers can bring about, and we ask that you take action to protect infants.

Thank you for your time and consideration. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Ami Gadhia in the AAP Washington, D.C. office at 202/347-8600 or agadhia@aap.org or any of the organization representatives below.  

Sincerely,

Benard P. Dreyer, MD, FAAP
President
American Academy of Pediatrics
202/347-8600

Nancy A. Cowles
Executive Director
Kids In Danger
312/595-0649

Rachel Weintraub
Legislative Director and General Counsel
Consumer Federation of America
202/387-6121

William Wallace
Policy Analyst
Consumers Union
202/462-6262