Maryland health officials are proposing a ban on the sale of crib bumper pads starting in January 2013.
The state health department said Tuesday it believes the bumpers pose unnecessary health risks to infants.
A four-member task force recommended in May that crib bumpers be declared a hazard, saying the cushions can suffocate or strangle babies.
The recommendation now goes to the state's health secretary, who will decide whether to issue a regulation that could ban their sale in the state.
The ban, which would take effect Jan. 1, 2013, would exclude the sale of bumper pads for older children or for those who have special needs.
Bumper pads are cushions that line the inside of cribs. They are usually attached to crib slats with ties. Makers say they prevent babies from hitting their heads but some experts say babies can lack the motor skills to turn their heads if they roll against something that blocks their breathing.
Chicago became the first city in the country to ban the sale of bumper pads on September 8 when the City Council approved the ban without debate. The Chicago Tribune reported at the time that the ban was “introduced in response to Tribune investigations that found federal regulators for years have received reports of babies suffocating in cases that involved crib bumpers, yet have failed to warn parents or investigate all deaths.”