Our babies are precious and their safety is of the utmost importance to us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that the leading cause of infant injury death is sleep-related suffocation. Choosing a crib that meets all safety guidelines will go a long way to protecting your baby from any dangers.
As you’re prepping your baby’s arrival and consider how to spend on the crib, take the following six safety features into consideration.
A Dense Mattress
When selecting your crib mattress, it’s important to find one that’s dense and firm. Soft, overly-squishy mattresses are suffocation hazards and increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Foam mattresses are a good choice. Higher density is better, so select one that’s at least 1.5 pounds per cubic foot. It can be difficult to know what you’re getting with a crib mattress because they are usually in a box with no indication of the density on the label. Ask the store manager for assistance or contact the manufacturer for more information.
Adjustable Mattress Support
Select a crib that enables you to adjust the height of the mattress. When your baby is young, you can have the mattress up high for your convenience. As she gets a little older and begins sitting and pulling herself up, you can lower the mattress so she can’t attempt to climb out.
Crib Slats No Farther Apart Than 2 3/8”
If the slats on the crib are farther than 2 3/8 inches apart, your baby could get one of his body parts accidentally wedged between the slats, causing injury. If there is no indication on the box as to how far apart the slats are or if the crib is already assembled, you can use a measuring tape to make sure the gaps aren’t too large.
No Corner Posts
Corner posts can be a strangulation hazard for babies. Their clothing can snag on corner posts which can strangulate them if the fall or try to free themselves from it.
Only purchase cribs with:
- no corner posts;
- corner posts under 1/16 of an inch; or
- corner posts that are over 16 inches high which support a canopy.
Firm Mattress Fitting
The mattress should fit very snugly in the crib. A baby can get her face or other body part trapped between a loose mattress and the crib frame. Make sure the mattress fits right up against the sides of the crib. If you can fit more than two fingers in the gap, the mattress is too small for the frame.
Sturdy and Stable Design
Lastly, the crib needs to feel sturdy. Give it a shake. Does it wobble or feel rickety? Or does it feel sturdy and durable? Cheap materials, loose or missing hardware, and used cribs can cause stability issues that pose risk of injury to your baby. Select only quality, durable cribs.
Legal Help If Your Child is Injured
Our firm handles injury cases that involve children and defective products. If your baby suffered injury because of a crib or other product mishap, contact our staff to see if we can be of assistance.