Getting ready to welcome a new baby is very exciting. Part of the fun is setting up and decorating the nursery. Since babies sleep a great deal, one of the most important pieces of furniture is the crib. Cribs come in a variety of styles and finishes, and parents need to spend time finding one that has the right appearance and features at an acceptable price. More importantly, though, the crib must be safe.
Listed below are some safety features to look for when choosing a crib—either new or used. These items will help avoid head entrapment—a situation that can cause injuries and lead to suffocation or strangulation:
- Corner Posts should be no higher than 1/16 of an inch above the end panels of the crib. Alternatively, they can be very high—over 16 inches tall. This prevents babies from catching their clothing on the corner posts.
- Mattress support hangers—the hardware that holds the mattress at the desired height—should be secured by bolts or closed hooks instead of open hooks. Open hooks can become loose and babies can get their head caught between the mattress and the side rails.
- Decorative cutouts in the headboard or footboard should be avoided since babies can become trapped between the openings and the sides of the crib.
- Space between slats on the crib should be no larger than 2 3/8 inches. Wider spaces may allow an infant to fall out or a toddler’s head to be trapped between the bars.
- Crib mattresses should fit tightly. Mattresses are too small if more than two fingers can fit between the mattress and the side of the crib.
- Drop-side cribs should be avoided since the sides can partially or fully separate from the crib and injure a baby. If your crib does have the drop side feature, contact the manufacturer to see if they offer an immobilizer kit to secure the drop side.
As a Bastrop child injury attorney I encourage parents to choose a crib very carefully since a safe crib may prevent head entrapment and strangulation accidents. In addition, The Todd Law Firm encourages parents to review the additional crib safety guidelines available at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s crib information center.
If your child is injured in a serious accident and you need legal assistance, call David Todd at 512-472-7799 for a free personal injury case review. Alternatively, you can download a free copy of our book “Seven Deadly Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Texas Accident Case” for more information.