Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Latest on Cribs

The US government is banning the sale of cribs that have a side rail that moves up and down from June 2011 onwards. Hotels and child-care centers will be prohibited from using drop-sided cribs but given up to a year to replace them with fixed-sided models. 

The reason for this - Since 2000 drop-sided cribs have been linked to the deaths of at least 32 infants and toddlers and there have been more than 9 million drop-sided cribs recalled.  Safety issues have occurred in drop-sided cribs when they were not properly assembled or had malfunctioning hardware which allowed the rail to partially detach from the crib creating a "v-like" gap between the side rail and the mattress, where a little one could become trapped and suffocate or strangle.

What you can do: 

If you are purchasing a crib buy a fixed-sided model and remember to always make sure the crib has been approved by the Juvenile Products Manufacturer Association (JPMA) and conforms to the safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

If you already have a crib make sure it is correctly assembled, the side-rail is properly installed and the hardware in good shape. There should be no gaps more than 2 fingers wide between the mattress and the frame. You may decide not to ever lower your side-rail when getting your baby in and out.  I remember I had a drop-sided crib but didn't need to use that function.
If your crib has broken or missing hardware, if the side rail doesn't always function properly, or there are gaps between the mattress and frame, stop using it immediately.

Remember, when it comes to infant sleep: Safety First!

I also suggest you read the free publication: "Better Baby Sleep: Infant Sleep Safety," an excerpt from my book "Better Baby Sleep: A Handbook for Parents."

 Visit for more information.