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updated: 4/8/2014 6:41 PM

State lawmakers vote to ban crib bumper pads

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  • Baby crib bumper pads would be banned under a bill approved by the Illinois House.

    Baby crib bumper pads would be banned under a bill approved by the Illinois House.
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By Zachary White

Illinois lawmakers voted Tuesday to ban the sale of crib bumpers, soft pads that line the inside of a baby's crib and were long a nursery staple.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says bumper pads are not safe for children, can cause suffocation or strangulation and have not been proven to prevent injury.

"All pediatricians practically advise parents not to use bumper pads, blankets -- not to put anything in the crib but the baby," state Rep. Sandra Pihos, a Glen Ellyn Republican, said.

A majority of the Illinois House agreed, voting 64-46 to send the plan to the Senate.

Yet, critics said banning a common item in babies' nurseries is the ultimate example of a nanny state.

"I don't know how my five kids survived," state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, said. "We had bumper pads, we ride bikes without helmets, and we have a trampoline in the backyard. I mean, at some point it becomes the parents' responsibility to follow doctors' advice and to decide for themselves what they're going to do with their children."

State Rep. Ed Sullivan, a Mundelein Republican, argued not all bumper pads are dangerous and the plan does not allow people to figure out how to use bumper pads correctly.

"Instead of trying to figure it out, it is banning everything with a hatchet instead of trying to work things through in a common sense way," he said.

State Rep. Emily McAsey, a Lockport Democrat and sponsor of the plan, disagreed.

"That statement is a statement from the industry that the manufacturers are making," she said.

Illinoisans could still buy the pads online, but retailers could be fined up to $500 for selling them.

"This product is still available over the Internet. Well, that's a problem isn't it? Because all we're doing now is shutting down Illinois business," state Rep. Ron Sandack, a Downers Grove Republican, said.

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