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Helpful Tips for Crib Safety

crib-safety-imageSome 26 children suffer from crib-related injuries every day.

These crib safety tips can protect your little ones from danger:

Crib Design:

• Do not use/purchase an antique or used crib. Antique cribs often have cutouts or openings that could trap the child’s head, neck, arms or legs. Antique/used cribs may also be missing important hardware.

• Watch for corner posts. Do not use a crib with corner posts that are more than 1/16 of an inch higher than the crib ends. Corner posts that do not meet these specifications can catch a child’s pajamas.

• The space between crib slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires this to protect from babies getting their heads stuck between the slats.

Crib Maintenance:

• Check the crib hardware. It may become loose, missing or damaged over time. Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts.

• Check for chipping paint. Lead can be found in old paint and is a health hazard to children.

• Check the mattress support to ensure that the system holding the mattress up is not bent or broken.

• Make sure the mattress fits. There should not be cracks or openings between the mattress and the crib. If two adult fingers can be placed between the mattress and the crib, the mattress needs to be replaced.

• Adjust the mattress to the correct height as the child grows. The higher the mattress, the easier it is for a child to pull himself out of the crib. The mattress should be at the lowest setting when a child is able to pull himself up.

Crib Use:

• Do not use bumper pads. They increase the risk of strangulation and suffocation. The CPSC advises against using bumper pads.

• Use only a bottom-fitted sheet on a firm, tight-fitting mattress.

• Remove mobiles or crib gyms once a child can pull himself up. These are meant to look at, not reach for or touch.

• Place baby on his/her back for sleep. Babies who sleep on their back are less likely to develop Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

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