Aiden’s Story

Aiden

Aiden suffocated on the crib bumper pad in his crib. He was six months old. “My beloved grandson was literally the light of my life.”

Submitted by his grandmother

Fighting for Aiden

I want to tell you about my grandson, Aiden, but words are woefully insufficient to tell you just how much he meant to me, to his incredible parents, to my husband, and to his extended family. Nonetheless, I will try my best to convey just how important this amazing little fellow was, and is, to all of us.

Aiden was born on August 13, 2009. I always felt he was our “lucky 13”. He was so beautiful that my emotions were too much to contain, and the tears of happiness came immediately and spontaneously, and for the duration of his short life, everything about Aiden continued to fill me with that amazing joy. When I looked upon this new little person, who entered the world at 5 pounds and 10 ounces, I declared laughingly that “he was no bigger than a peanut,” and Peanut became my nickname for him.

Now in my middle years, my beloved grandson was literally the light of my life. Every day, when I would come home from school (I was pursuing a life-long dream to study art, which is now forgotten in my heartache), or from errands, volunteer work, or other activities, the highlight of my day was to greet my little “Peanut”. He always had an immense, delightfully charming gummy grin for his Nana that melted my heart. Aiden, along with his young parents, lived with us in our home, and so he was a daily part of my life, and I his, and I am grateful beyond words that he came to visit us for six and a half months before he had to leave us. I’m also mad as hell that he died needlessly.

Aiden was robbed of his life, and we of the immense joy he brought to us, because of a crib bumper pad. He rolled into a corner of his crib and, according to medical experts, died silently as he re-breathed the stale air in the corner of his crib. My daughter was a mere five feet away as she was otherwise occupied but nearby in case he cried, but Aiden never cried. He died silently and needlessly, because of the intrinsically faulty design of his crib bumper pad.
In Aiden’s name, I hope to influence the regulation of for these products. In many states crib bumper pads are prohibited in child care and foster care settings. They are strongly advised against by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Sudden Infant Death Foundation, Kids In Danger, and others. Why, then, do these products remain on consumer shelves? Why is it that we as consumers are left ignorant of the dangers of such products? I bought the very pad that took my beloved grandson’s life, thinking that it was a necessary part of the newborn nursery. Never once did I ever consider that they might be lethal. I assumed that products sold for children had been thoroughly tested and deemed safe. We expect and assume that the products we buy are safe, yet crib bumper pads have a long and suspect history, and I believe that since the occurrence of such incidents is rare, the industry chooses to turn a blind eye.

I’m here to put the industry on notice so that Aiden won’t have died in vain. I vow to take this fight as far as is necessary, and to make it my life’s mission to ensure that no other child dies as my beloved Aiden did. He is and always will be my beloved Peanut, and I will cherish him forever. Thank you, Peanut, for the light you brought to my life. I vow to fight in your name, and I will love you forever.

For more information, check out:
Product Hazards: Crib Bumper Pads Safe Sleep Tips (PDF)
Chicago Tribune: Hidden hazard of bumpers