Decorating a nursery for your new baby can be a lot of fun, but if you aren't careful, it can also be dangerous. According to a newly released set of guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, those crib bumpers that you may be tempted to buy could actually prove deadly.

Crib Bumpers Are Not Safe

Bumper pads have long been considered a standard component of traditional baby bedding, so many new and expectant parents automatically place them inside their infants' cribs. But in its latest statement on safe sleep, the AAP claims that crib bumpers should never be used. Their official words:

"There is no evidence that bumper pads prevent injuries, and there is a potential risk of suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment."

This is not the first time that the safety of crib bumpers has been called into question. The AAP first warned parents not to use "pillow like" bumpers back in 2005, but stopped short of opposing them completely. Since then, however, more evidence has surfaced to prove that using any type of crib bumper can result in infant deaths.

In 2007, The Journal of Pediatrics published a landmark study in which 27 accidental infant deaths were attributed to the use of bumper pads between the years of 1985 and 2005. Although the results of the study were not without controversy, its authors reached the following conclusion.

"[C]rib and bassinet bumpers are dangerous. Their use prevents only minor injuries. Because bumpers can cause death, we conclude that they should not be used."

Why Are Crib Bumpers Still For Sale?

Even though their safety has been suspect for many years now, crib bumpers are still widely used and available on most store shelves. After all, the bumpers look nice, they appear to protect babies from the hard bars and open slats of a crib, and don't forget, they also make money for the companies that manufacture them.

Now, it finally appears that the bumpers might be banned. In September of 2011, Chicago became the first U.S. city to ban the sale of crib bumpers, and a few weeks later Maryland became the first state to propose a ban as well. Still, many people have balked at this government regulation, and quite a few parents remain unconvinced that the bumpers are actually dangerous.

But with this newest statement from the AAP, sentiments might start shifting. If parents come to believe that the risks of crib bumpers outweigh the benefits, we may eventually see them disappear completely.

Do you (or did you) use crib bumpers? Does this new warning concern you?