Are you aware of the standards for crib safety? Strictly following the safety guidelines for baby cribs can prevent accidents and injuries. Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA) bans using any crib made before 1986.
If you use hand-over-crib you need to check when it was made. Any crib made before September 1986 should not be used, selling those cribs is against the law. It is also very important not to modify any broken or missing pieces of the cribs.
To prevent injuries in the cribs:
- Use firm mattress not thicker than 15 cm.
- Use right size mattresses, there shouldn’t be more than 3cm in the space between the mattress and crib. Remove plastic covers, labels and price tickets from the mattress.
- Keep cribs away from windows, doors, drapes and blinds.
- Use a fitted bottom sheet for a crib mattress , don’t use loose sheets.
- Don’t leave any toys, or mobiles in the crib.
- Don’t use bumper pads or other products that attach to crib slats or sides.
- Always latch and lock the sides of this crib when the baby is in it.
- The most common crib accidents are falls from the crib. You should adjust the level of mattress level as baby grows.
- Don’t use crib when baby’s height reaches 90 cm or baby starts climbing out of the crib.
- Keep loose items such as blankets, pillows, clothes out of the crib. Dress your baby in sleepers instead of using blankets
- Check the crib’s parts often to make sure it is securely fastened and not damaged. Do not substitute the parts.
Safety standards for Cribs:
- Less than 6 cm (2.4 in.) of space between slats. This prevents a child’s head from becoming trapped.
- The material should be smoothly finished to eliminate sharp edges, corners and points and must be free from splits, cracks and other defects.
- No cutout designs or spaces if there is an otherwise solid headboard or footboard. A child’s head, hands, arms, or legs can get stuck.
- No corner posts. Clothing can attach to these posts and injure or strangle a child.
- Tight and secure screws, bolts, and other construction materials. Check these parts every week. A physically active child can loosen these structures, and the crib can collapse.
- Lead-free paint. Older cribs may have paint that is lead-based. Babies can get lead poisoning from chewing and gnawing on a crib with lead-based paint.
- Movable side rails are a safety hazard. If your crib has the kind of side rail that can be raised and lowered, always raise it and secure it properly when your child is in the crib.
On 25 July, 2015 a change of standards was proposed to improve the safety of cribs. That would add major modifications to address hazards identified for cribs, cradles and bassinets that are not addressed in the current regulations. Also through a network of global laboratories consumer testing is established to test physical, mechanical and analytical aspect of cribs to develop international market compliance requirements.
Written by: Tina I Ureten MD, RDMS, RDCS