Did you know that that cute coordinated crib bumper that came with your infant crib set is a potential hazard for your little one, and that health officials are considering banning them?
Did you also know that the label ‘flame retardant’ could point to potential health problems? We look at issues relating to these and other facets of baby products:
Why health officials are considering banning crib bumpers
Health officials in Maryland are of the view that the possible benefits of crib bumpers are far outweighed by their possible risks.
It has been seen that crib bumpers, which are almost invariably a part of any baby bedding set, present rare but significant risks to babies.
The risk of strangulation and or suffocation may be rare but is a very real one. Proponents of crib bumpers argue that these products protect babies against limb entrapment, or head injuries.
However, opponents feel that these benefits are negligible compared with the risk of sleep related deaths of infants caused by suffocation and/or strangulation.
Experts also argue that baby bumpers restrict the amount of oxygen available for breathing to the child while sleeping close to the bumpers.
While mesh type bumpers may be better, it is best to do away with them altogether.
Problems with flame retardants
Though parents may think they are doing the right thing by buying products with flame retardants, these could be responsible for future problems.
A recent independent study has shown that flame retardants, often found in baby products could be responsible for obesity, anxiety and developmental problems.
The rat study found that baby rats showed anxiety and gained more weight when exposed to the chemical Firemaster 550. These findings may be considered preliminary and more studies are required. However, researcher point to the fact that the product was marketed without much in the way of studies.
New safety standards for baby monitors
New ASTM International safety standards now require that baby monitor cords be labeled as a strangulation hazard. This was done in response to the death of seven infants as a result of being strangulated by cords when baby monitors were placed too close to the crib.
The new labeling requires the manufacturers to mention that baby monitors ought to be kept at least three feet away from the crib to prevent any tragic incidents. The labeling will serve to educate parents and also as a useful reminder to them say experts.