Crib Advertisements Could Promote Dangerous Situations for Babies

December 22nd 2016

Laura Donovan

You probably didn't notice it, but new research suggests there's something very dangerous depicted in advertisements for baby cribs. 

A study new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) found that many cribs on display at stores and in advertisements promote unsafe sleeping arrangements for babies, and may even lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

For example, the ads included loose bedding and bumper pads, which has the "potential risk of suffocation, strangulation or entrapment," the AAP guidelines state.

bumper crib

In total, the study looked at 1,758 crib displays at 11 nationwide retailers, and found that half of these displays demonstrated dangerous sleep setups, senior researcher Dr. Bradley Troxler told HealthDay.

In a survey of 1,893 magazine advertisements across three time periods, researchers found that "35% of current advertisements depict nonadherent, unsafe sleep environments." Roughly 46 percent of the magazine ads with babies showed the babies on their stomachs, Troxler told ATTN: over the phone. According to the Mayo Clinic, babies who sleep on their stomachs are a greater risk of SIDS.

"We found that 54 percent of the [magazine] ads that had a sleeping child showed the baby sleeping correctly," Troxler told ATTN: over the phone.

“Sleep is not being advertised in a safe fashion,” Troxler told HealthDay, adding that the cause of SIDS is unclear but may be caused by "an immature breathing center in their brain."

“When they get their face up against a bumper pad or other soft object, carbon dioxide gets trapped by the child’s face and they tend to re-breathe it,” Troxler continued.

AAP's latest sleep guidelines, updated in 2016, offer clear guidance. 

In a video posted on the AAP's website to the accompany the new guidelines, Dr. Rachel Moon explained that "The only thing that should be in the crib should be a tight fitting mattress, with a tight fitting sheet and the baby, and nothing else. There should be no bumper pads, no blankets, no pillows, no stuffed an animals. Just the crib, the mattress, and the baby.” 

Read the full HealthDay report about the study here.