By Ailina Laborte of PATCH
Between November 1, 2007 and April 11, 2010, 27% of crib deaths were associated with structural problems of the crib. Nearly all were due to head/neck/body entrapments. More than half were related to drop-side failures. An additional 1,675 reported a non-fatal crib related injury.
On December 28th, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission increased their safety standards for manufactured and sold cribs in the US by implementing rule 16 CFR 1219. Beginning June 28th, 2011, the effected rule applies to both full-size and non-full-size cribs, prohibits the manufacture or sale of traditional drop-side rail cribs, strengthens crib slats and mattress supports, and improves the quality of hardware with more rigorous testing.
Here are some answers to questions you may have regarding your crib.
How do I know if my crib complies with the new standards?
Unfortunately, you can’t tell from looking at a crib whether it meets the new standards. All cribs that do comply with the new standards must provide a certification to the retailer. You may ask your retailer or manufacturer for a copy of the certificate. All cribs made after June 28th, 2011 are required to meet the standards.
If my crib was purchased prior to June 28th, 2010, what can I do to keep my baby safe?
Some drop-side crib manufacturers have immobilizers that fit cribs. You can use these temporarily until you can purchase a new crib. Note: The immobilizers installed on cribs will not meet the new CPSC standards.
I own a non-drop side crib made before June 28th, 2010. Is it safe?
It is unlikely that your crib will meet the safety standards; however you are encouraged to check the crib frequently for any loose, missing, or broken parts.
My child care center/day care provider still has drop-side cribs. Are they in compliance?
Child care centers, homes, and places of public accommodation such as hotels have until December 28th, 2012 to ensure all cribs used in their facilities meet the new CPSC standards.
To keep your baby safe in his crib, remember:
• Never to use a donated or previously owned crib unless the crib comes with a safety certification by the retailer or manufacturer.
• Don’t wrap the mattress in plastic.
• Use a firm mattress (two fingers test for snugness) and don’t leave pillows, blankets or stuffed animals in the crib which can suffocate the baby.
• Make sure crib slats are no wider than 2 3/8ths of an inch.
• Remember to place your baby on his back to prevent SIDS.
For more information on Crib Safety visit:
American Academy of Pediatrics – www.aap.org
National Safety Council – www.nsc.org
First Candle/SIDS Alliance – www.sidsalliance.org
Consumer Product Safety Commission – www.cpsc.gov