Feature Article  


Crib Safety Tips

A safe crib is the best place to put your baby to sleep. Tragically however, each year about 50 babies suffocate or strangle when they become trapped between broken crib parts or in cribs with older, unsafe designs.

If your crib does not meet the following guidelines, destroy it and replace it with a safe crib with a certification seal showing that it meets national safety standards.



A safe crib has:

  • No missing, loose, broken, or improperly-installed screws, brackets, or other hardware on the crib or the mattress support.
  • No more than 2 3/8 inches between crib slats so a baby's body cannot fit through the slats.
  • A firm, snug-fitting mattress so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • No corner posts over 1/16 of an inch above the end panels (unless they are over 16 inches high for a canopy) so a baby cannot catch clothing and strangle.
  • No cutout areas on the headboard or foot board so a baby's head cannot get trapped.
  • A mattress support that does not easily pull apart from the corner posts so a baby cannot get trapped between mattress and crib.
  • No cracked or peeling paint to prevent lead poisoning
  • No splinters or rough edges.


Baby in Safe Crib

The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these guidelines:

For infants under 12 months of age, follow these practices to prevent suffocation and keep your baby safe:

  • 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.

For mesh-sided cribs or play yards, look for:

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

Source:  the Consumer Product Safety Commission.





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