Crib Safety

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING

  • Slats no more than 6 cm apart: The distance between slats must be no more than 6 centimeters to protect infants from falling out and toddlers from trapping their heads between the slats.
  • Safe corner posts: Corner posts should not extend more than 1 1/2 mm above the top of the end panel (unless they're over 40 cm high to support a canopy). If corner posts are higher than 1 1/2 mm, clothing can catch on them and injure or choke an infant.
  • Adjustable mattress height: Most cribs let you change the height of the crib mattress by simply raising or lowering the mattress support. The time to lower the mattress is when your child begins sitting up. As kids get more active and move to pulling up and standing, you don't want them to climb or fall out of the crib.
  • Cribs with drop sides: If the crib has a drop side or drop gate, the lowered crib side should be at least 9 inches above the mattress support to prevent the infant from falling out. Raised crib sides should be at least 26 inches above the mattress support in its lowest position.
  • Cribs on Rollers: Cribs on rollers can be dangerous if older children are in the home. Playful siblings, who might be inclined to push a crib around, could tip it over or push it down a flight of stairs. Also, by leaning against a wheeled crib you might inadvertently shove it away from you. Hardwood floors allow for easy rolling with such cribs so be extra careful here, too. Obviously a crib without any wheels is the safest way to go. Look for a crib with casters that can lock the wheels and prevent rolling, or better yet , get a crib with no wheels at all.
  • Mattrress: Get the firmest mattress you can find. Don't rely on manufacturers' labels — test it yourself. This is extremely important because soft mattresses may play a role in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Be sure that the mattress fits snugly in the crib. If you can fit more than two fingers between the side of the mattress and the crib, the mattress is too small. This poses a significant danger, as babies can get trapped in that space.
  • Bumper Pads: Mattress bumper pads are soft cushions that fit around the inside of a crib and help prevent your baby from hitting his head against the crib bars. Secure all bumper pads to the crib and cut the strings as short as possible after being tied. This will eliminate the danger of strangulation. Once your infant can pull himself up, remove all pads and crib toys, to keep him from standing on them in attempts to climb from the crib.
  • Don't Substitute: If parts are missing, stop using the crib and contact the crib manufacturer for replacements. Do not attempt to replace them with hardware store parts.
  • Non-Toxic Paint: Check for cracked and peeling paint. All surfaces should be covered with lead-free paint safe for nursery furniture.

SAFETY NOTES:

  • Check all screws and hardware regularly and tighten them if necessary.
  • To prevent suffocation, never place soft bedding or soft toys (blankets, fluffy comforters, pillows, plush toys) in your baby's crib.
  • Although bumper pads have been widely used, their safety has been questioned. Pediatric organizations strongly discourage the use of bumper pads in cribs to avoid accidental suffocation.
  • Hanging crib toys (mobiles, crib gyms) should be out of the baby’s reach. Any hanging crib toy must be removed when your baby first begins to push up on his or her hands and knees or when the baby is 5 months old, whichever occurs first. These toys can strangle a baby.
  • As soon as the child can pull himself to a standing position, set and keep the mattress at its lowest position. Stop using the crib once the height of the top rails is less than three-fourths of the child's height.
  • The top rails of crib sides, in their raised position, should be at least 26 inches above the top of the mattress support at its lowest position.
  • If you have bumper pads in the crib, remove them when your baby starts to stand so they cannot be used to help climb out of the crib.
  • Never place a crib near a window or drapes, because your baby can become entangled in window blind and drape cords.
  • Remove bibs and necklaces when your baby is in the crib. Do not hang toys by strings.

 

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