The Charles E. Boyk Law Offices would like to provide you with some crib safety tips.
Never purchase an antique or used crib or bassinet. It may be missing hardware that prevents it from collapsing or failing in some other way. Some older cribs have cutouts in the headboard or footboard. Whether your crib is old or new it shouldn’t have any cutouts or openings that could entrap your child’s head, neck, arms, or legs.
Even if an old crib is in good shape, safety standards have improved over the years, so it’s best to buy a new one if you can. A crib should be the one place you feel comfortable leaving your child alone.
Check the condition of the crib’s paint. If your crib is painted, make sure the paint isn’t chipped or peeling. This is especially important with older cribs that may have been coated with paint that contains lead-another reason not to use old cribs.
Check the crib for splinters. If you use an older crib, be sure to check it over thoroughly for cracks, splinters and rough edges, which could harm your baby.
Remove ribbons. If your bassinet has ribbons or bows make sure your child can’t pull them off or become entangled. It’s best to remove them or cut them shorter than 8 inches.
If you decide to keep these decorative features, you need to be sure they are tightly fastened.
Check slat spacing. The slats in a crib or bassinet should be no farther apart than 2 3/8 inches. If you can fit a can of soda through them, the opening is too large. You are more likely to find this problem in an older crib, but you can’t be too safe when it comes to your baby, so check any crib you put him in.
If you find you have purchased a crib that is unsafe, you should return it and report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
Check corner posts. If your crib has corner posts or finial knobs they should stand at least 16 inches above the crib’s end panels so that a child can’t reach the top and get her pajamas caught. If the corner posts or finials are shorter than this, unscrew or saw them off so that the corners are no more than 1/16 of an inch higher than the crib ends or side panels. After sawing them off, you will need to sand the crib to eliminate splinters and sharp corners.