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Statewide Ban On Crib Bumpers Now In Effect

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Pat Warren joined the Eyewitness News team in 1992. Pat came to WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As of June 21, it is against the law to sell crib bumpers in the state of Maryland.

Pat Warren explains the reason for the ban.

It is the latest in a long campaign to keep sleeping babies safe.

In a 2009 Johns Hopkins University safe sleep video, young mothers tell how their babies suffocated.

“He was not in his crib, he was in the bed. In our bed,” said Ayanna Williams.

“We had found him dead in the middle of our bed,” Lottie Plummley explained.

“That morning he was in the bed with us,” Dearea of north Baltimore recalled. “And when I woke up and looked over at him, he just wasn’t breathing.”

Babies also suffocate sleeping in cribs.

Take out the blankets and toys and crib bumpers, say the experts. Parents mistakenly think they are adding safety and comfort, when in fact, the child is safer alone with no frills. The crib bumpers specifically pose a risk of suffocation, and Maryland has outlawed their sale.

The secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene supports the ban.

“We now have the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health all recommending that they never be used,” said Dr. Joshua Sharfstein.

Keep in mind, it is not illegal for parents to use crib bumpers, but it is highly recommended that they don’t.

“I believe parents will listen to what they hear and they’ll make a good decision for their child,” Sharfstein said.

“I would tell mothers to really, really do what everybody says you know,” Plummley said of her own experience.

“It is something no one should ever have to experience,” Dearea concluded in the video.

The B’more Babies Safe Sleep Campaign can be seen on YouTube or the Baltimore City Health Department website.

The health department is issuing 200,000 cards and posters on safe sleep.

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