Buying a crib is one of the most important purchases that new parents can make. Although color and style are common factors in selecting the right one, safety should be at the top of the list. Knowing the latest safety standards and what to look for in a crib may avoid a child injury or fatal injuries.
How to Buy the Right Crib for Your Baby
It’s always best to purchase a new crib. Older cribs may not meet the most current safety standards, or they could have been the subject of a recall years ago. Keep the following features in mind when selecting one for your child.
Buying a Crib: Side Rails
Drop-side rails have been the standard for many years, but drop-side cribs are considered risky. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) now bans them because they have been linked to deaths caused by suffocation and strangulation. Instead, look for fixed side rails.
Buying a Crib: Thin Slats
The slats on the side rail must meet certain safety standards. The distance between them cannot be more than 2-3/8 inches (or 6 centimeters). If they are too far apart, the infant could fall out of the crib or get his or her head trapped between the slats.
Buying a Crib Mattress
It’s best to purchase the mattress at the same time as the crib. If it doesn’t fit properly, it could pose a risk of injury. The mattress should fit snugly within the crib. Otherwise, the child could slip in between the crib sides and the mattress, increasing the risk of suffocation.
Also, look for one that is firm. Softer mattresses may be a contributing factor to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). And if there is the ability to adjust the height of the mattress, make sure the supports are sturdy to prevent it from collapsing.
How to Buy a Crib: Corner Posts
Buying a crib without corner posts is safest. But if it comes with them, make sure they’re not higher than 1/16 of an inch. Clothing could catch onto a corner post if it’s higher, which may choke the child. An exception would be corner posts that are higher than 16 inches (such as those found on cribs with canopies).
Buying a Crib: Keep it Simple
With so many styles to choose from, parents may not consider keeping it simple. But it might be the safest choice. Clothing can catch onto decorative knobs and other protruding pieces. Stick to basic headboards and footboards. Cutouts or those cribs with detail work could entrap a child’s head or catch on clothing.
How to Buy a Crib Frame: Keep it Solid
Make sure the frame is stable. If it wobbles or rattles, it could collapse. Also, if it comes with caster wheels, take them off if not needed. It’s especially important to remove them if they are flimsy.
What to Do if a Child Has Been Seriously Injured as a Result of a Defective Crib
Despite rigorous safety standards, somehow defective products are still on the market. If your child was hurt and you know it was because of the faulty design or manufacture of your baby’s crib, then your next step after attending to your baby’s medical needs should be filing an injury claim. Personal injury lawyer D.J. Banovitz is happy to help — just fill out the contact form.