The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is joining three child safety organizations to launch a crib safety video, “Safe Sleep for Babies,” aimed at helping avoid suffocation, strangulation, and entrapment risks when children sleep.
The commission is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Keeping Babies Safe, and the New York Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital to educate new and expectant parents on crib safety while they’re at the hospital or visiting their pediatrician’s office. The video shows how to keep babies safe and sound in cribs, bassinets, and play yards.
The education effort is part of commission's Safe Sleep Initiative, an effort aimed at reducing deaths and injuries associated with unsafe sleep environments. In addition to this education effort, the initiative includes the development of new crib standards; warnings about drop-side cribs, sleep positioners, and infant slings; and the recall of millions of cribs in the past five years.
About 30 crib deaths and hundreds of injuries have occurred, reports the commission. Cribs are a leading cause of nursery product-related deaths. About one-third of the deaths result from structural failures of the crib from loose, missing, or detached hardware. The majority of deaths in cribs are attributed to the presence of extra bedding in the crib, such as pillows and comforters.
The commission plans to distribute the "Safe Sleep" video online and through its network of about 100 hospitals nationwide.
The video also is available at www.keepingbabiessafe.org. This is a good way for grandparents to see it so that any crib, bassinet, or playpen used in their home is safe.
To create a safe sleep environment for your baby, the video urges parents and caregivers to follow these crib safety tips:
- Place infants to sleep on their backs.
- Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress.
- Never use extra padding, blankets or pillows under baby.
- Remove pillows or thick comforters.
- Don’t use positioning devices. They’re not necessary and can be deadly.
- Check cribs regularly for loose, missing, or broken parts or slats
- Don’t try to fix a broken crib.
- Place cribs or playpens away from windows and window covering cords to avoid fall and strangulation hazards.
- Place baby monitor cords away from cribs or playpens to avoid strangulation.
Other crib safety recommendations from the commission:
- Don’t use any crib with missing, broken or loose, parts. Make sure to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy.
- Check to make sure the drop side or any other moving part operate smoothly when using a drop-side crib. Always check all sides and corners of the crib for parts separating that can create a gap and entrap a child.
- Don’t try to repair any side of the crib. Babies have died in cribs where repairs were attempted by caregivers.
- Don’t use a crib that is older than 10 years. Many older cribs may not meet current voluntary standards and can have a variety of safety problems.
- Check if your crib has been recalled at www.cpsc.gov.
Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist