Cribs are meant to keep babies safe, but unfortunately this is not always the case. There are a number of ways in which the crib you chose could potentially harm your child. Although baby products are highly regulated to prevent injuries, some manufacturing problems and other mistakes can hurt your infant. Here are some of the most common ways children can be hurt from cribs, an item that is supposed to keep them safe as they sleep.
One of the most common ways in which a crib could be dangerous is through entrapment. Newborns, even when they are on trap (not premature) are so tiny that it might be hard to imagine their size when you’re picking out a crib. If the slats – the vertical bars on the sides of the crib – are too far apart, a baby could easy slip through or slip an arm or leg through. Any space that is large enough for a head or limb to fit through is dangerous. Although almost all cribs on the market today meet safety standards, defects or improper set up could cause problems. For example, the recent Delta Enterprise crib recall occurred due to a manufacturing problem with the spring pegs that hold the sides in place. The problem causes a gap where a child could be trapped.
Entrapment isn’t the only crib hazard that should cause concern for parents. Suffocation is also a problem, as some cribs and their related bedding are too soft or give children the opportunity to cut off their air supply. For example, you should never purchase a crib that has posts. You baby could loop clothing or a blanket around the post and strangle him- or herself. When in a crib, even if it does not have posts, it is always a good idea to use close-fitting clothing in layers and blankets that can be secured so as not to cause suffocation. In addition, make sure that the bumper pads and mattresses that come with the crib are firm so that if your baby rolls against them, he or she will not be pressed into the surface and suffocate.
With any piece of furniture, falling is always a concern. Infants can easily fall out of a crib if you do no use the crib properly or if there is a manufacturing problem. Cribs should never have spaces large enough for an infant to fit through, even if the newborn cannot roll. In addition, drop sides that do not work, mattresses that are raised to high, and groove where older children could climb could all be hazards for children falling. Keep in mind that choosing a crib closer to the ground, although it might be harder on your back, is often in your baby's best interest.
Entrapment, suffocation, and falling are the three most common crib hazards, but they aren’t by far the only way a child could be injured, especially if the company has manufactured a crib incorrectly. As a parent, it is extremely important to always stay up-to-date on crib recalls through the Consumer Product Safety Commission. If your child has been injured due to a problem with your crib, talk to a defective crib lawyer immediately to learn about your rights.