Why is Crib Safety such a complicated issue?

Baby Crib Safety
Shawn J
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The important factor when choosing a crib for a new baby, is all about baby and crib safety.

Many people have a romantic notion of placing a sleeping baby into a beautiful old fashioned crib with elegant lace and antique iron work.

Some of us want to use a baby crib that is a family heirloom that has been kept in the family and used for other generations of babies.

However, in reality, these ideas are not really practical and in some cases may actually be placing your baby in jeopardy in terms of lack of crib safety.

All Baby cribs must comply with modern crib safety standards

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (or CDSC for short) is an agency of the US government.  The CPSC is responsible for setting the standards for the safety of consumer products.

The safety of baby cribs has been the subject of thorough new guidelines being established over the last 10 years or so.

Be careful if you are thinking of using a baby crib that is more than a few years old.

There is a high likelihood that an older style baby crib will no longer comply with the crib safety guidelines.Crib Safety

What are the crib safety regulations?

Crib safety bars or slats

There are a number of crib safety factors to look out for.  The most obvious crib safety regulation is with regard to the slats.

The maximum spacing for crib slats should be no more than 60 mm apart.  This should serve to prevent a baby’s head from being trapped between the bars.

Drop down sides on the baby crib

Drop down sides are no longer permitted under the baby crib safety regulations.  The new CPSC crib safety regulations came into effect in 2011, so it is acknowledged that many people may still own or use a drop side baby crib.

The risk is that the drop down side may become stuck, or that the gap is too wide and allow the baby to get stuck.  If you still own or use a drop down side baby crib, there are a couple of options.  You can get in touch with the manufacturer to see whether they offer an update kit to secure the side frame.

Or if you are in any doubt as to the safety of the baby crib, we recommend that you update to a new model which meets with the crib safety guidelines.

Crib safety corner posts

Crib Safety

The corner posts on a baby crib can pose a danger for a baby who can stand in the crib.  The risk is that if clothing becomes hooked over the corner post, then the baby can become tangled.

Crib mattress safety

The crib mattress should fit snuggly into the baby crib.  This works best when we choose the standard size baby crib and the standard size crib mattress.

There should be no gap between the crib and the mattress so that the baby cannot get stuck in the gap and suffocate.  Alternatively, a new crib mattress should be nice and firm, which is also best for crib safety.

Antique baby crib

Crib Safety

The same advice applies for an antique baby crib.  If you are in any doubt about the safety of an older style baby crib, then quite simply, it is not worth compromising the safety of your baby.  By all means keep the antique baby crib for sentimental purposes, and buy a new baby crib that complies with crib safety standards.

Summary of the CPSC crib safety regulations:

  • Baby cribs with drop down sides are no longer permitted to be made or sold
  • Choose a modern baby crib which meets the crib safety standards
  • Slats should be no more than 60 mm apart
  • Corner posts should not protrude
  • Baby crib and mattress should be standard sized and tight fitting
  • There should be no missing or broken slats
  • There should be no missing or broken parts at all
  • There should be no snag points inside the baby crib

Crib Safety

Crib safety is more important than appearances

The problem with old baby cribs is that the fittings can become worn out with the passage of time.  Also when a baby crib is assembled and disassembled several times, the fittings will inevitably become loose and worn.  This means that the gaps can become wider or the parts can come loose, which puts the baby at risk.

In terms of crib safety, it is always better to buy a modern baby crib.

Even though an antique baby crib may look beautiful or have sentimental value, it is unlikely to meet crib safety regulations.

We strongly recommend that baby cribs that don’t meet crib safety guidelines should not be used under any circumstances.