The Illinois state legislature House lawmakers approved a bill that bans the sale of crib bumper pads. They also endorsed a bill that would set state standards for the crib padding. The bumpers are intended to keep baby’s limbs from getting caught between crib bars and to protect them from bumping their heads against side rails. The American Academy of Pediatrics has warned that crib bumpers can cause suffocation. House Bill 3761 passed the chamber by a vote of 63-48 on April 21, 2015, following vigorous debate, reports The State-Journal Register, the state capital’s main newspaper. The bill was introduced by Emily McCasey (D-Lockport). It makes the sale and manufacture of any solid padding for the inside of baby cribs illegal. Mesh padding is accepted. “In order to protect our infants, this is an important step forward to get this dangerous product that has been linked to dozens of deaths off the market in the state of Illinois,” McCasey told the Register.
The city of Chicago has already banned the sale of baby crib bumpers. Child-care providers also are not allowed to use them. Last year, House Bill 5348 passed the House and the Senate Public Health Committee, but in June the state Senate failed to call the bill for a vote on the floor. Safety groups supported legislation to ban the sale of crib bumper pads in Illinois due to the risk of suffocation. HB 5348 was supported by a wide range of Illinois organizations including SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome] of Illinois, Inc., Everthrive, Illinois Action for Children, and the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children. Representatives from those organizations reportedly spent hours talking to legislators in the Capitol to lobby for passage of the bill. Last year, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Chapter, and the Injury Prevention & Research Center at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago reportedly asked pediatricians around the state to contact senators about the importance of safe sleep. Illinois PIRG, March of Dimes, Pathways, Shane’s Foundation and Cribs for Kids, a national group, also reportedly lent their support. This year’s HB 3761 is now headed to the Illinois Senate. A similar bill there is sponsored by Sen. Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield).