- Family and Parenting»
- Babies & Baby Care
Baby Crib Safety
When planning out a baby’s nursery, you will want to make sure that the chosen furniture meets all manufacturing and safety standards that were implemented in 1973. While this seems like a long time ago, most crib manufacturers follow stricter guidelines than were set back then. While nursery furniture has come a long way, around 50 infants are killed and close to 9,000 injured every year in the United States in some form of crib related accident.
Shopping for furniture for the nursery should include considering all safety factors when you choose your designs. You should always choose a few different styles of furniture that meet the minimum safety guidelines required and your own personal safety guidelines. Then choosing the color, style, and shape of your baby room furniture can be done.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that is in charge of baby crib safety, all cribs sold in the United States must meet certain safety standards:
• All vertical bars and slats on the baby room furniture must not be any further apart then 2-3/8” or 60mm in order to prevent infants from sliding through them or getting stuck in between them. If you baby has a large head as compared to the rest of their bodies, they could easily get caught between bars with larger openings if their body slides through.
• Decorative cut-outs on the end walls of baby cribs should not exceed 2-3/8” or 60mm in order to prevent the infant from slipping through it or getting caught.
• Any cribs that are damaged and missing slats or vertical bars should be destroyed immediately if they cannot be properly repaired. Gaps between bars and slats are dangerous as the infant could slip through it and fall, injuring themselves or worse.
Additionally try to avoid furniture for the nursery that is on caster rollers. These types of cribs can be moved around too easily especially on hard floors, and rambunctious siblings could push the crib around, tipping it over or even accidentally pushing it down a nearby flight of stairs. If you insist on having a crib on rollers, make sure the caster rollers can lock and prevent the crib from moving. Your safest bet, however, would be to invest in baby furniture that has no wheels at all.
While modern baby bedding sets are available in just about every department store around the world, you always need to make sure that your baby’s safety is priority in everything you put on their room. Nursery furniture is made a specific way in order to comply with regulations set out by the government in order to protect your children. It’s up to you to dress up their rooms and beds with items that will not cause problems.
Crib Safety Products
Here are a few things to consider about those crib sets that can help you ensure your child will be safe while lying on them and dreaming about whatever innocent things infants dream about.
• Crib mattresses – a crib mattress should be firm and fit the crib properly so that the infant cannot roll over and get in between the mattress and the slats. It should be snug against the sides and if you can slide two fingers side by side between it and the crib, the mattress is too small. Soft mattresses have been linked to SIDS which is why the combination of a firm mattress and laying your baby on their back to sleep is now recommended.
• Mattress covers – if you decide to use a mattress cover, make sure the cover is thick and cannot be torn or punctured. Make sure the cover fits the mattress tightly so that your infant cannot find his or her way beneath it and possibly suffocate.
• Mattress hangers – mattress hangers are what support the floor of the crib and the mattress your baby lays on. This piece of the furniture can be raised and lowered as needed and is designed to keep your child from climbing out of the crib by lowering it when they get older. Always make sure the hangers are properly fastened whenever you set up the crib or move it from one place to another.
• Bumper pads, crib cushions, quilts, and comforters – more than likely when you purchase some of the cute nursery bedding sets you will get all of these items in the packages. Bumper pads keep your infant from hitting their heads on the sides of the crib and should be secured tightly when used. As soon as your baby can pull themselves upright and stand in the crib, remove them so they cannot aid your infant in climbing out. Cushions, quilts, and comforters are lovely, but should only be used in the crib for decorative purposes and removed prior to placing the baby down to sleep for fear of suffocation.
10 Baby Crib Safety Rules
To ensure your child’s safety while they are in their crib means you are going have to be diligent at all times. Remember the following safety rules as they pertain to your infant and nursery sets you bought for them to use.
• Always raise the sides of the crib to their full height and lock them in place whenever you put your infant in their crib for a nap or night time sleep in order to keep them from rolling out.
• If the hand operated locking latch does not work or if the crib you are using does not have one, replace the faulty one or add one to ensure your baby’s safety.
• As soon your baby can sit up unassisted, lower the floor of the crib so that they cannot climb out. When they are able to stand up by pulling themselves to their feet or standing unassisted, drop the crib floor to its lowest position.
• Never put toys and pillows in your baby’s crib. They are a suffocation hazard as well as they will be used by your child to climb on in an attempt to climb out of their crib.
• When your child stands between 32 to 35 inches tall – usually around the age of two – or when they consistently climb out of their crib on their own, it’s time to switch them to a toddler bed.
• Always keep the babies crib one foot away from all furniture and walls so that your child doesn’t get wedged between them if the climb out.
• Always keep a crib away from curtains, drapery cords, blind cords and anything else they could accidentally wrap around their neck and get strangled on.
• Check your baby’s furniture periodically for loose slats, end-boards, nuts and bolts and fix any issues you discover immediately.
• Make sure that there are no screws or nails protruding from the cribs surface that could scratch you baby or catch on their clothing.
• Any defects that can not be fixed or replaced on your baby crib furniture are cause to destroy the furniture and replace it with something that is safe for your child.
Purchasing your new baby’s furniture for their nursery is a fun and exciting time in all parents lives, but the safety of your child and the crib you use is only as good as you are.