Jul 23, 2015

Keeping Baby Safe in His Crib In light of recent sleep equipment recalls, Children's Health Dallas experts share tips on crib safety for baby.

Right now, all across this great state, expectant moms and dads are scanning through hundreds of crib bedding options. Perhaps you have already done this yourself, painstakingly agonized over the perfect baby blue or pale pink. “What will my baby like the most,” you think as you flip through magazines and click through a million websites with nursery inspiration pictures.

Three short years ago, I was part of that expectant population, too. I spent tens of hours and hundreds of dollars on custom crib bedding for my miracle child, Mack. What I failed to do, though, was barely even consider crib safety. I assumed that just because a major retailer sold a crib and its accessories that they were safe. I have since learned this is not the case.

Recently, two major recalls were announced — one for crib tents and the other for drop side cribs. Of course, I owned both of these and while my almost 3-year-old son has been in a ‘big boy bed’ for about 6 months now, I feel guilty about not being an informed mother. What if Mack had been injured from something that was totally preventable?

Fortunately, the experts here at Children’s have lent their knowledge so that for my next child, I will be better prepared.

Susan Kuehn, RN, a manager in Neonatology, and Claudia Romo, a program manager in Injury Prevention, shared the following:

Crib Safety

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled all drop side cribs and they can no longer be made or sold. This once popular style of crib has been proven to cause infant deaths. If you have one, replace it with a new crib made after June 28, 2011. Cribs must now pass five new and safer federal standards designed to better protect infants while they sleep.

Do not use cribs older than 10 years or broken or modified cribs. Infants can strangle to death if their bodies pass through gaps between loose components or broken slats while their heads remain entrapped. Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.

Babies should sleep on a firm, flat mattress. To prevent suffocations, never place thick quilts, blankets, pillows, comforters or bumpers underneath or around him or her. Stuffed animals or soft toys also should not be placed near your sleeping newborn.

Crib Tents have recently been recalled and pose strangulation and entrapment hazards for children. If you own a crib tent, specifically one manufactured by Tots in Mind, contact the retailer for a refund.

Never place a crib near a window with blinds, curtain cords or baby monitor cords; babies can strangle on cords.

Safe Sleeping Tips for Baby

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that healthy babies be placed on their back (not on their stomach or side) to sleep.

The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a crib (versus co-sleeping).

Babies should sleep only in sleepwear labeled “flame resistant.”

Mobiles and Toys

Mobiles should be tightly secured to the crib or even better, wall mounted with sturdy hardware. Avoid dangling chords, which may pose a strangulation danger to your child while in their crib. Pay careful attention that mobiles and toys do not have any sharp edges or parts that may break and hurt baby.

Crib toys should be plush and made of soft materials with no removable parts that may pose as choking hazards to babies. Read toys labels to ensure they are age and developmentally appropriate for your child. Always report malfunctioning toys to the CPSC using their online form.