Pediatrician groups advise against using crib bumpers

(CNN) - Tired parents sometimes say, "Don't wake a sleeping baby," but a new study has some doctors putting a twist on that, saying, "Don't put a sleeping baby in danger because of their bedding."

Parents want what's best for their babies. Advertisements show baby crib bumpers, and you can buy them in almost any store. Yet the American Academy of Pediatrics advises parents not to use them.

The latest edition of the Journal of Pediatrics adds to the debate, citing a study that looked at infant deaths between 1985 and 2012 and finding crib bumpers could be involved in 77 deaths.

The number of babies who have died has tripled in the last seven years of available data. Researchers say the jump could be due to better awareness, but the study authors also believe the numbers are under counted.

The danger to babies came with suffocation by either a bumper alone or being wedged between a bumper and another object.

In 2012 the voluntary standard was changed to make bumpers thinner. Researchers say there have still been deaths since then.

The authors of this study did an earlier, similar study in 2007 and at the time called upon the Consumer Product Safety Commission to restrict crib bumper use.

A CPSC spokesperson said that the organization has a national "safe to sleep" campaign for babies which advises parents to never add cushions to the baby's crib.

The CPSC also says that in 2013, its commissioners voted in favor of accepting a petition calling for federal standards for crib bumpers to be established.

The next step is for the CPSC to put forward a recommendation to commissioners about how to regulate crib bumpers, but there's no timeline for that.

In response to the study, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which represents the crib bedding industry, said traditional crib bumpers that meet the bedding standard and are used properly can help parents address concerns about babies hurting their heads or getting limbs trapped.

Some jurisdictions have taken the matter into their own hands. The city of Chicago and the state of Maryland ban bumper sales in stores.

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