Crib bumpers, or bumper pads are not recommended. They can pose suffocation, strangulation, and choking hazards. They pose a suffocation risk if a baby’s face is pressed against the bumper or wedged between the bumper and the crib side or mattress. Additionally, bumpers have been recalled because the strings used to attach them to the crib can pose a strangulation hazard, or detach and pose a choking hazard. The bumper may also restrict the movement of fresh air in the crib. A study in the Journal of Pediatrics found 27 deaths related to bumper pads or padded bassinets between 1985 and 2007.
For older babies, the suffocation risk is reduced, but then babies can use the bumper pads as a foothold to climb out of the crib, causing falls and injuries.