City Council Approves Crib Bumper Pad Ban

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's City Council approved an ordinance Thursday to ban the sale of crib bumper pads in Chicago.

Ald. James Balcer (11th) and Ald. George Cardenas (12th) sponsored the ordinance, which also passed a City Council panel this week.

"If we can help save a baby's life, it's so important," Balcer said. "If you listen to the testimony, there are folks who have lost their newborn children. ... We as a city council have to take that responsibility, and if it's endangering the lives of constituents, you have to do something."

Crib bumper pads, designed to protect infants from a crib's wooden slats, have come under fire for the dangers of suffocating infants.

Balcer said it's the job of the Council as a legislative body to protect people, but some members criticized the proposed ordinance, saying it's the parents' job to choose what's right for their children.

Cardenas said the potential danger of the bumpers was reason enough to bring it to a vote.

"We still have a responsibility at the end of the day," Cardenas said. "We're not regulators, but we feel it's our responsibility to let parents know that it's an issue, and in the city, we're going to take action."

A bumper pad spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times this week he worries taking the product off the market will force parents to turn to towels or pillows to protect their infants from a crib's wooden slats.

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