From the Harford County Health Department:
Today, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) announced a request for data and public input on the safety of crib bumper pads, which have been linked by some studies to asphyxia and death in young infants.
The Department released a request for comment that will be published shortly in the Maryland Register. The request notes that the data and input will help the Department advise the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is studying the issue, as well as consider additional action under Maryland law.
“In evaluating the safety of crib bumper pads, it is important to start with the facts,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH. “Our goal is a science-based policy that protects infants from harm.”
The Department is requesting comment by May 9, 2011 concerning (a) whether crib bumper pads pose a substantial risk to infants; (b) whether there are benefits to crib bumper pads that should be considered; (c) whether any dangers associated with the use of bumper pads in infant cribs could be reduced or eliminated by proper labeling; (d) whether the Department should provide input to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in its review of the safety of these products, and if so, what that comment should be; (e) whether the Department should issue a warning to consumers, and if so, the content of the warning; and (f) whether bumper pads should be considered a “hazardous material,” and if so, whether the Department should adopt regulations addressing the sale, marketing, or labeling of bumper pads.
The Secretary has appointed an advisory panel to review comments and to recommend what action, if any, should be taken. The anticipated members of the panel will be Dr. Peter Beilenson, Health Officer, Howard County Health Department; Dr. Tina L. Cheng, Division Chief, General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; Dr. Gaurov Dayal, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Adventist Healthcare; Jeanne Markowski, a neonatal nurse practitioner at Franklin Square Hospital; and Dr. Joseph M. Wiley, Chief of Pediatrics, Sinai Hospital. Dr. Marsha Smith of the DHMH Family Health Administration will oversee the panel process.
Comments may be submitted by mail to Michele Phinney, Director, DHMH Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination, 201 W. Preston St., Room 512, Baltimore, MD 21201, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax to 410-767-6483. Individuals may also call 410-767-6499, TTY:800-735-2258.