The Charles E. Boyk Law Offices would like to provide you with some crib safety tips.
Inspect hotel cribs. When reserving a crib or a play yard at a hotel, try to find out the make and model number so you can check whether it has been recalled. Before you use either item, check thoroughly for loose screws or missing parts, and be sure the slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. Make sure the sheet is designed for the crib or the play yard, and is not a bed sheet that has been tucked underneath. Best bet: Bring your own crib sheet or play-yard sheet.
Check the hardware. Make it a habit to check the screws and bolts in your baby’s crib to ensure nothing is loose, missing or damaged. Crib hardware can loosen over time and may need occasional tightening. If anything is missing or broken, contact the manufacturer for replacement parts.
Check mattress supports. Make sure that the system that supports the crib mattress isn’t bent, broken or coming apart. Be sure it’s secure and isn’t in danger of falling. If the mattress is suspended on hangers attached to hooks on the end panels, check regularly to see that these are still connected. A handy time to look is when you are changing the crib sheet.
Make sure the mattress fits. Put your baby to sleep on her back on a firm mattress that fits tightly into the crib. There shouldn’t be any cracks or openings between the crib and the mattress because a baby can get trapped in the smallest of spaces. A full-size crib has an interior surface of 28 inches by 52 inches. The mattress for a full-size crib should be 27 1/4 inches by 51 5/8 inches, and no more than 6 inches thick. If you can place more than two fingers between the mattress and the crib frame, the fit isn’t snug enough and there’s a risk of head entrapment.
Adjust the mattress to the right height. Most cribs have this feature, some with only three levels and some with several levels. The higher levels make it easier to take your infant out of the crib but become dangerous when your child is able to pull herself to a standing position. Before your child reaches that stage-at around 6 months-the mattress should be at its lowest setting. Bumper pads and large toys help your little escape artist climb out, which is another reason they don’t belong in the crib.
Let your baby sleep unencumbered. Don’t wrap your bundle of joy in blankets or comforters when he’s in the crib. He can quickly become entangled and might not be able to free himself. Pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed animals or dolls don’t belong in the bassinet or crib. And remember that babies can quickly overheat. Put yours to sleep in lightweight clothes and set the thermostat at a comfortable 70 degrees.
Check back for more blogs on crib safety! If you or someone you know has a child who has been injured by a crib you need information. Contact our Toledo, Ohio child accident lawyers at toll free 800.637.8170 to order your FREE copy of Little Kids, Big Accidents.