Q&A: Are cot bumpers safe?

Posted in All, Babies, Health + Safety and tagged .

“We used them when you were a baby and you turned out fine.” Sound like a familiar statement? Grandmas and older mums in your life, while well-intentioned, often have a few opinions that may seem a little outdated. Cot bumpers are probably going to be one of THOSE topics. So, are they safe?

Regardless of what your nanna tells you, according to Red Nose Australia, it’s a resounding no, cot bumpers are NOT safe.

For small babies, there’s a risk of suffocation. For older babies and toddlers, the risk stems from using bumpers as an aid to climb out of their cot and potentially fall. Bumpers can also reduce airflow in your baby’s cot which may cause them to overheat, and overheating is considered to be one of the leading causes of SIDS deaths.

You may know someone who still uses them, and ultimately that’s their choice, but the medical advice suggests it’s not a good idea.

But I’m worried they’ll get their arms or legs stuck in the rails?

Look, we won’t lie to you, they might. They’ll also probably not be very happy about it. It is, however, highly unlikely that your bub will sustain any kind of serious injury from this kind of incident. Cot bumpers pose a higher risk than the potential benefit of avoiding a little bump.

A US study could prove a direct link to cot bumpers for 27 child deaths. And please don’t be fooled by some brands that market themselves as a ‘safer’ alternative. In the eyes of all the leading children’s health organisations, all bumpers are created equal and should all be avoided.

We get that it can be so hard to navigate all the differing opinions coming your way as a new mum. At the end of the day, Australia has a wealth of fantastic, well-researched medical advice to guide our decision-making. Do what’s right for you and your baby, and accept advice from the right places – trust us, you will sleep better at night knowing your little one’s cot is as safe as can be.

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