An improperly manufactured crib can be dangerous for a child. Broken crib parts, faulty assembly, or out of date safety standards can leave your child prone to suffocation, strangulation, and serious injury.
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) has created safety guidelines to help create a safe sleep environment for babies and infants. We will have a look at these guidelines in this article, however, you should visit www.jpma.org for more information, and always talk to your pediatrician for childcare advice.
Firstly, the JPMA advises that many older cribs have unsafe designs and don't meet current safety standards. Because of this, even if you are on a tight budget, it is not recommended to purchase an old crib or accept a second-hand crib that does not meet current safety standards.
The safest place for an infant to sleep is in a fully functional, properly assembled, JPMA certified crib. Always check to make sure your crib has not been recalled before using it.
Make sure you have assembled the crib in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Check to make sure there are no loose or broken parts, and never substitute hardware. Only the hardware provided by the manufacturer should be used. Check the stability and hardware on the crib often.
Always use a proper fitting mattress. It is possible for infants to suffocate between a poorly fitted mattress and the crib sides or ends.
Drop-side cribs are longer available for purchase, and should never be used.
Never leave items hanging on the sides, ends, or corner posts of the crib. A baby can pull these items in, become entangled, or suffocate.
Once your child is able to pull into a standing position, set the mattress to the lowest position and remove bumper pads, large toys, and everything else that could be used as a step for climbing out. Once your child is able to climb out or reaches a height of 35 inches, it's time to move to a toddler bed.
Never place a crib near windows, where cords from blinds or anything else may hang into the crib causing a choking/suffocation hazard.
Remove mobiles when your baby can push up on hands and knees or pull into a standing position.
If using a baby monitor with cords, make sure all cords are out of arm's reach of your child. Never place any item in or on the crib that has cords, strings, etc. as babies can become entangled and strangle in these items. At least three feet away is where your monitor should stay.
Do not put a baby monitor in the crib, bassinet, or toddler bed.