The Charles E. Boyk Law Offices would like to provide you with some crib safety tips.
Use safe sleep wear. Infant sleep wear should fit snuggly and be made of flame-resistant fabric. There should be no drawstrings, ribbons or anything else that might catch on something. Buttons and snaps should be firmly attached to avoid becoming a choking hazard.
Remove the bottle. As your child gets older you may feel tempted to let him fall asleep with a bottle or sippy cup. Don’t do this! Bottle nipples suffer from wear and tear over time and a small piece can break off and get caught in a baby’s throat. Sleeping with a bottle or cup can also cause tooth decay and lead to ear infections.
Use the proper sheets. Use ones made to fit the mattress in your crib, bassinet or play yard. If a sheet isn’t the correct fit, your baby may pull it up and become entangled. Test the sheet by pulling up on each corner to make sure it doesn’t pop off the mattress corner.
Skip the crib gym. The safest crib is one that is free of gyms and other toys that stretch across the crib using strings, cords or ribbons. They can be dangerous for older or more active babies, and you have no way of knowing what your baby is doing in the middle of the night.
If you think you must use crib gyms or other crib toys, you can reduce the risks by following recommendations from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Items should be free of points that your child’s clothing could get caught on; they should be securely installed at both ends; they should be out of your child’s reach; and they should be removed when your child is 5 months old or begins to push up on his hands and knees. Remove strings and cords from all toys and be sure there aren’t any hanging into the crib or within reach of your baby.
Skip the bumpers, too. Crib bumpers are cute, but it’s best not to use them. They need to be tied down with string, which is a potential hazard if not properly secured. If you do use a bumper, choose one that is thin, firm, and made of mesh, not one that is puffy or padded. It should fit around the entire crib and it should be secured in several places by ties or snaps. At a minimum, there should be a tie or strap at the top and bottom edges of each corner and in the middle of each long side. After tying the bumper to the crib, trim off excess string to prevent your baby from becoming entangled. The tie should be no longer than 8 inches.
Don’t use a sleep position. Those wedge-shaped pieces of foam are designed to help babies sleep on their back. But the American Academy of Pediatrics says that none of these devices have been tested sufficiently to show that they are effective or safe.
Use the crib correctly. Don’t lift your baby over the side of the crib without dropping the side first, or you’ll be showing her how to escape. Also get in the habit of raising and locking the sides as soon as your baby is in the crib and check that all latches are locked.
Always put your baby to sleep on his back, not his stomach, to minimize the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and rebreathing, a sometimes fatal circumstance that can occur when a baby is sleeping on his stomach or trapped in soft bedding. As a result the child “rebreathes” his own carbon dioxide rather than breathing in oxygen-rich fresh air. The lack of oxygen can cause death.
Crib mobiles are for looking at, not for touching. They often have string or small attached pieces. Make sure your little one cannot reach the mobile so he can’t become entangled or pull anything off. When he is able to push himself up on his hands and knees, the mobile should be removed from the crib.