PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — They’re sold often in cute, coordinating nursery sets. But do crib bumpers pose a safety risk to babies? That question is being asked by more and more lawmakers across the country. Some experts say crib bumpers can suffocate babies if their heads get near the padded guards and they can’t move away. But as 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds, some parents are still buying them, despite the risks.

Linnea Koval knew the concerns about crib bumpers before she brought home her new son Henry. She says, “We went back and forth initially but we finally did decide that that was the best option for us.”

Around for years, crib bumpers have been linked to the deaths of at least two dozen infants since 1990. Chicago recently banned the sale of bumpers and the state of Maryland has proposed a state-wide ban.

Furniture store owner Mary Forame says that there are alternatives to traditional bumpers. Some, made of mesh are often called breathable bumpers. “There’s not a lot of padding or anything but it certainly keeps an arm or a leg from sticking through there.” Another option are little square pads. She says, “One pad covers two slats, typically, depending on your crib, and then it ties on the outside, so these are nice pads, but they also allow for air flow.”

The Koval’s opted for a traditional crib bumper. Linnea says, “I think it should definitely be the parents’ choice. Different things are right for different families. There’s no one right thing to do.”

At least one trade group says banning bumpers could make cribs dangerous if parents use towels or pillows instead. So the debate is far from over. The federal government is also looking into this. The Consumer Product Safety Commission may issue its own recommendations later this year.

Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

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