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Padded crib bumpers banned in Ohio

| May 12, 2017

COSHOCTON – There were 770 infant sleep related deaths in Ohio from 2011 to 2015. This spring state legislators took a huge step in hopefully curbing that number by banning crib bumpers in the Ohio.

“They were banned because they restrict air flow and cause a risk of suffocation,” said Leane Rohr, director of the Coshocton County Family & Children First Council. “When an infant dies from SIDS investigations are done and common factors in some of those deaths were the child being in bed with bumpers, blankets, pillows or stuffed animals.”

Mesh crib bumpers will be ok for at least the next three years according to the new law.

“We don’t know what is going to happen with them because they are so new to the market that we really don’t know if they have a risk factor,” Rohr said. “The state recommendation though is not to put anything in the crib, but baby.”

Bumpers were originally intended to help keep children safer in cribs because the slats in them were far enough apart that children were getting body parts stuck in them.

“Now crib slats should be no wider than being able to fit a pop can through them,” Rohr said. “You also don’t have cribs with drop sides anymore. With all the new standards now there really is no reason to need bumper pads.”

The way the law is written bumper pads cannot be sold secondhand or in stores as of April 6, 2017.

“This is the first time legislation has been written to help do something to reduce the infant mortality rate,” Rohr said.

Coshocton, however, has been trying to address the problem for the past three years with its Cribs for Kids program. In 2015, 25 people were enrolled, in 2016, 28 benefited from it, and so far in 2017, 16 have been involved with Cribs for Kids.

The program focuses on safe sleep tips and participants receive a free pack and play plus a diaper bag full of helpful information and other goodies like a sleep sack for baby. In the beginning it was offered in a group setting, but now Alex McKay from Coshocton County Family & Children First Council meets one on one with participants who meet WIC eligibility guidelines.

“We can’t say what we teach you will prevent SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), but if you follow the guideless we give you it will greatly reduce the risk of it,” Rohr said.

Another program they offer in hopes of reducing infant mortality rates is Baby & Me Tobacco Free. The goal of this program is to get pregnant moms to quit smoking and to help them stay smoke free after their baby is born. Partners also are encouraged to enroll in the program and those who are successful with it have their efforts rewarded by receiving diaper vouchers.

For more information on either program, contact McKay at 740-295-7321 or e-mail her at [email protected]

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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