This spring, health and safety groups supported legislation to ban the sale of crib bumper pads in Illinois due to the risk of suffocation. The bill, HB 5348, passed the House and the Senate Public Health Committee. But Friday night, at the 11th hour, the Senate failed to support the bill. The bill is on postponed consideration and may be considered again in the fall.
HB 5348 was supported by a wide range of Illinois organizations and government officials, including the Governor and Attorney General. SIDS of Illinois, Inc, which had originally drafted the bill, had members calling into Senators’ offices across the state. Other groups such as Everthrive, Illinois Action for Children, and the Illinois Association for the Education of Young Children spent hours talking to legislators in the Capitol. The American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Chapter, and the Injury Prevention & Research Center at the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago got 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 lent their support. It was remarkable to watch the effort and energy that this group of supporters put into keeping babies safe.
The bill’s sponsors, Representative Emily McAsey and Senator Julie Morrison, were tireless in their efforts to get the votes needed to pass this measure. We are very close and will keep working to get crib bumper pads linked to suffocation off store shelves. The sale of bumpers is still in effect in Chicago. We will all continue our work to educate parents and caregivers about safe sleep, including getting bumper pads and other soft bedding out of cribs. Want to help? Join our KID Action Team.