Crib safety tips

For infants under 12 months of age, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends following these practices to reduce the risk of SIDS and prevent suffocation:

  • Place baby on his/her back in a crib with a firm, tight-fitting mattress.
  • Do not put pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, pillow-like bumper pads or pillow-like stuffed toys in the crib.
  • Consider using a sleeper instead of a blanket.
  • If you do use a blanket, place baby with feet to foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, covering baby only as high as his/her chest.
  • Use only a fitted bottom sheet specifically made for crib use.

The Commission also lists items you should check to assure crib safety:

  • A firm, tight-fitting mattress should be used, so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
  • There should be no missing, loose, broken or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
  • No more than 2 3/8 inches (about the width of a soda can) between crib slats so a baby's body cannot fit through the slats; no missing or cracked slats.
  • The corner posts should not exceed 1/16th inch in height, so a baby's clothing cannot catch.
  • No cutouts in the headboard or foot board so a baby's head cannot get trapped.

For mesh-style cribs there are also safety issues:

  • Mesh should be less than 1/4 inch in size, smaller than the tiny buttons on a baby's clothing.
  • No tears, holes or loose threads that could entangle a baby.
  • Mesh must be securely attached to top rail and floor plate.
  • The top rail cover should also have no tears or holes.
  • If staples are used, they are not missing, loose or exposed.

CPSC Document# 5030

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, you can call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or send the information to info@cpsc.gov.

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