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Baby Crib Safety Guidelines

Updated on November 3, 2011

General Crib Safety

-Position baby on their his/her back to sleep.
-Do not place soft bedding, pillows, toys, or plastic bags in crib.
-Tuck a thin blanket under mattress and cover only up to baby’s chest.
-Do not overheat baby.
-Do not smoke around baby.
-Check for sharp objects in or surrounding crib and remove them.
-Do not use baby bumpers.
-Do not use mobiles or hanging toys for babies older than 5 months.
-Check surrounding area for potential hazards such as electrical or baby monitor cords and curtain rods and remove them or move crib.
-Use only a mattress designed for crib use and which fits your crib.
-Ensure crib is assembled properly.
-Use a federally compliant crib.

Adapted from USCPSC, American Pediatric Society, and Canadian Pediatric Society recommendations


Proper bedding is a vital component of crib safety. Soft bedding caused more than 60 crib-related deaths between 2007 and 2010. For maximum safety, follow the following guidelines.

The only bedding that a crib needs is a single, fitted sheet. Buy one that fits your crib mattress. To check fit, pull up on the corner of the sheet. If it comes loose, it doesn’t fit properly and shouldn’t be used. If you must use a blanket, tuck it under the sheet and cover only up to your baby’s chest.

Do not add anything to the crib. Toys and bumpers are unnecessary and can cause suffocation. Babies overheat easily and do not need blankets. Older child can use toys and bumpers to climb out of the crib.

How to Check your Crib

1. Check slate spacing. Slats should be no more than 2-3/8 inches apart to avoid head entrapment. If you don’t have a ruler, try sticking a can of soda through the slats. If it fits through, the slats are too far apart.

2. Check hardware. Check all the hardware on a regular basis to make sure it’s still tight. Tighten all screws regularly.

3. Check crib for splinters or peeling paint. Splinters, cracks, and exposed hardware could cause injury to child.

4. Check corner posts. Corner posts should be at least 16 inches above end panels to prevent child from getting pajamas caught. Corner posts shorter than this should be less that 1/16 higher than the crib ends or side panels.

5. Check mattress supports. Mattress supports should be checked each time you change the sheets. Make sure nothing is bent, broken, or coming apart. Ensure that mattress is in no danger of falling.

6. Check mattress fit. The mattress should fit the crib tightly so that babies cannot get trapped between the mattress and the frame. If you can fit more than two fingers between the mattress and frame, the mattress is too small. Mattress should also be firm to prevent SIDS.

First Responder Cribs

The First Responder system from Foundations Cribs is the ultimate child safety system. The Evacuation crib is designed for speedy and safe evacuation of children in case of emergency. Each crib will hold up to four children. The sturdy evacuation frame features solid steel gussets for extra strength. Easy glide handles for caregivers and parents make it easy to move this crib. The Evacuation crib also has safety labels on all sides to instruct caregivers.

There are three other products in the First Responder system. Evacuation frames, for either white or natural color cribs, have solid steel gussets that connect the caster brackets directly to the solid steel SafeSupport crib frame. They can be added to SafetyCraft, Serenity, and Biltmore cribs. The evacuation protocol sign instructs caregivers in appropriate evacuation procedures. Place it in your nursery to read on a regular basis. The evacuation route sign kit includes a protocol sign and three evacuation route signs to point caregivers in the right direction.

Evacuation Crib from Foundations


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