Welcome to Crib Corner! Is your Child’s Crib Safe?

crib

 A few weeks back we got a call from a mom who was concerned about her daughter’s safety when in her crib.  When her child pulled herself up using the side of the crib, the rail collapsed and she flipped over the side.  Luckily, the child was not injured, but as you could imagine both mom and child were terrified!  Mom said she had attended a SIDS class taught by Lexlee’s Kids, researched crib safety, came across some new crib standards and felt that she may have one of those recalled cribs.  After some very private eye like research, we discovered that the crib was indeed included in the recall and the company was no longer in business.  After discussing the issue further, we advised the mother to call the store where the crib was purchased to see if they would honor both its product and customers by allowing her to return the crib with no packaging and the research that was conducted proving that the crib was recalled.  And just like that…SUCCESS!  Mom was going to exchange the recalled crib for one that meets the new crib standards.     

Being that September is National SIDS Awareness Month, we would like to stress the importance of making sure your child sleeps safely!  It’s not only about co-sleeping and suffocation, but also the way you assemble the crib, dress the crib, dress the child, sleep the child and other points that may help reduce your child’s chances of becoming a victim of SIDS, suffocation or crib death.  

More infants die every year in cribs than from any other nursery product. In the last 20 years, 1,100 children have died from crib related injuries. Over 11,500 children are rushed to emergency rooms with injuries and an average of 32 children die each year in unsafe cribs (KID, Kids in Danger). Seem like a small number compared to other hazards?  A child is a child; they are all precious and deserve to be protected from any type of harm.  Put a child’s face to each number, throw in a few faces you know and love and suddenly the number seems to multiply ten-fold.   

Recently, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission created new federal requirements in order to secure a “Safer Generation of Cribs.”  As of June 28, 2011, all cribs sold, including resale, must comply with new and improved federal safety standards. New regulations apply to full- size and non-full size cribs. These rules must be followed by retailers, hotels, child-care facilities and other public accommodations. All facilities must meet these requirements by December 28, 2012, but as caregivers, it is your responsibility to make sure your children are sleeping safely as soon as possible. 

Since 2007, over 11 million cribs have been recalled!  These new regulations are not just a ban on drip side cribs, but a new set of rules to create a safer crib overall.  If you question your crib, contact the manufacturer and ask if your crib complies with 16 CFR 1219 (full size cribs) or 16 CFR 1220 (non-full-size cribs). 

Welcome to Crib Corner:

  • Avoid drop-side cribs and make sure a soda can cannot pass between any of the slots of the crib.
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions completely when assembling your child’s crib.
  • Make sure crib hardware is secure and no components are loose or missing. Crib should be free of protruding rivets, metal nuts or bolts, knobs and wing nuts.
  • Mattress needs to be tight fitting.  No more than two fingers should fit between the mattress and crib side.
  • Keep an eye out for wood that is not smooth.  A splinter may ruin a good night’s sleep.  Is the paint cracked or peeling?  Is your paint lead-free?
  • No soft bedding such as pillows, positioners, blankets, bumper pads and stuffed toys.  To you the mattress may feel like a brick, but your child will be safer this way.  A child’s comfort levels are very different from adults. 
  • All you need is a fitted sheet that is tight fitting and a light blanket if needed.  Do not overheat your baby. Dress your baby in light sleep clothing at a comfortable temperature for an adult.
  • Position mobiles or hanging crib toys out of your child’s reach and remove when the child starts to push or pull up into a sitting or standing position.  Drop mattress to the lowest position when your child can pull up, and be aware of crib weight and age limits.

Refer to our Safe Sleep article at http://www.lexleeskids.org/safety/safe-sleep for Safe Sleep Top 10 tips and http://www.lexleeskids.org/crib-safety-2/drop-side-cribs-will-go-bye-bye for additional information about drop-side cribs!

Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety!   If you have questions or concerns about your child’s crib or SIDS post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at (225) 372-3991.

Drop-Side Cribs will go Bye-Bye!

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Go to sleep, go to sleep little baby….They look so peaceful when they are sleeping soundly in their crib.  It’s time to wake up to safety!  After recalling 10 million drop-side cribs since 2007 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) proposed new crib standards that will ban the sale of drop-side cribs and prohibit their use in hotels and day care centers beginning in 2011.  Several states have already banned them, companies have stopped making them and many retailers have stopped selling them.

CPSC technical staff has determined drop-side cribs are generally less structurally sound than cribs with four fixed sides. Drop-side hardware is prone to experience  problems during use. The older the crib, the more problems can be expected. When drop-side hardware breaks or deforms, the drop-side can detach in one or more corners from the crib. If an infant or toddler rolls or moves into the space, the child can become wedged between the crib mattress and the drop-side and suffocate. Infants can also strangle in the “V” shape formed by a drop-side that detaches in an upper corner.

While CPSC staff cannot say that every drop-side crib is hazardous, based on investigations, the agency believes that overall most drop-side cribs are more prone to mechanical failure than fixed-side cribs. Older cribs may not meet current voluntary standards, so when you tell mom and grandma you are expecting and they try to pull your old crib out of the attic, politely decline the offer!

If you already own a drop-side crib:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely. If the directions are hard to understand, call the company. If there are pieces left over after the crib is assembled, there could be a problem.
  • Check the crib often. Every time you change the sheets, make sure all screws and bolts are tight and that the drop-side is on track. Also, look for any gaps between the mattress and the sides of the crib. If there’s a space wider than two fingers, stop using the crib.
  • While the mattress is out of the crib, gently shake the crib. If the crib seems wobbly or loose, tighten every piece of hardware and check the crib again. If it still feels loose, look to see if there are any wood-to-wood joints that appear unstable.
  • Don’t try to be Mr. or Mrs. fix it!  CPSC says about 30% of crib deaths are caused by broken cribs with homemade repairs. Replacing the crib’s hardware on your own could be risky, because screws and bolts in your toolkit haven’t been tested for use with the crib and could become loose and fall out.

If your crib has been recalled you can get a free immobilization device from the manufacturer to keep the rail from going up and down for a limited time or choose to replace your baby’s crib immediately.  Look into a bassinette, Pack n Play or new crib.  Be sure to check all products for recalls. Do not let your fear cause you to sleep your little one in the bed with others, this could cause other safey hazards.

When the drop-side detaches at the bottom, a baby can fall into the gap and suffocate between the mattress and the side rail.

Do you or does someone you know have a drop-side crib?  Do you agree with the ban of these cribs?  Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for our kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments, feel free to post them here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-761-7272 or www.lexleeskids.com.

A baby can strangle in the “V” shape when the top portion of the drop-side detaches.

Safe Sleep

SIDS Baby

October is SIDS Awareness Month. SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The term describes the sudden, unexplained death of an infant 1 month-1year of age. Louisiana is double the national average of SIDS deaths!

Placing babies on their backs to sleep reduces the risk for SIDS, also known as “crib death.” American Academy of Pediatrics Task Force recommends parents and caregivers make changes to promote a safe sleep environment and reduce the risk for SIDS.

Everyone who cares for babies should know the Safe Sleep Top 10! The cause of SIDS is still unknown but through research, these tips are easy ways to lower your baby’s risk of SIDS and promote a Safe Sleep!

1. Babies sleep safest on their backs!
2. Babies are safest alone on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety approved crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet. – Never place a baby on an adult bed, pillows, quilts, water beds, air mattress or other soft surfaces.
3. Keep soft objects, toys and loose bedding out of the baby’s sleep area.
4. Do not allow smoking around your baby.
5. Keep your baby’s sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep.
6. Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing your infant to sleep.
7. Do not let your baby overheat during sleep. Dress your baby in light sleep clothing at a comfortable temperature for an adult.
8. Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. Most have not been tested for safety!
9. Do not use home monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS.  Follow the Top 10!
10. Allow “tummy time” when your baby is awake and supervised to help them develop strong neck and shoulder muscles!

Did you know that bumper pads are not recommended in your child’s sleeping area?  Is your little one sleeping safely? What steps have you taken to ensure your child has a safe sleep?

Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for our kid’s safety. For more information about SIDS, please visit www.nichd.nih.gov/SIDS, www.lexleeskids.com or call 225.761.7272.