Crib Safety Recommendations

By: Michael Wangner

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a terrible thing to contemplate, however there are things parents can do do reduce their child's risk of accidental suffocation. Here are some of the suggested precautions for crib-safety.

If using a blanket, it is best to place your infant with his or her feet nearly touching one end of the crib, then tuck the blanket in at the foot and the sides allowing it to cover no farther than your baby's chest. Using a sleeper instead of a blanket may further reduce any risk of danger. Your child should sleep on his or her back in a crib with a firm, tightly fitting mattress. This is to prevent your child from becoming trapped between the sides of the crib and the mattress. Do not put pillows, comforters, quilts, bumper pads or stuffed toys in the crib with your child. Only use fitted sheets that are made for cribs and fit the mattress properly.

Be sure there are no loose or poorly installed brackets, screws or other hardware on the crib or mattress support. The corner posts should not be taller than 1/16th of an inch high to prevent the infant's clothing from getting caught and there should not be any cutouts on the headboard or footboard where your child's head might become trapped. The slats of the crib should be no more than 2 1/4 inches apart so that the baby cannot squeeze through. Never use a crib with missing or damaged slats.

If you plan to use a crib with mesh sides, don't use anything with mesh larger than 1/4 inch because the buttons from your infant's clothing could get caught. If the crib or playpen was manufactured using staples, just be sure none of them are missing, loose or sticking out. Check the tops and bottoms on all sides to be certain the mesh is securely attached and make sure there are no rips or holes in the rail cover along the top especially. Always check for damaged mesh and do not use the crib or playpen if there are holes or loose threads.

By taking the above precautions you can reduce the chance of your child having an accident, and that will help just about any parent sleep a little better at night.

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