Protecting Babies from Deadly Cribs
Charleston, West Virginia – Unfortunately each year, approximately 26 infants die, and another 11,500 are seriously injured in cribs. Most of these babies die due to asphyxiation caused by malfunctioning cribs. Many of these injuries, including those involving brain injury and damage to the organs are caused by babies getting caught in defective or open slats. A number of other injuries are caused by collapsing rails or slats that are spaced too far apart that result in babies falling to the floor. The information below will hopefully help you protect your babies from these types of injuries caused by malfunctioning cribs.
Used or Hand Me Down Cribs
Most crib deaths and injuries occur in used or hand me down cribs. Although, it’s important to inspect any crib you use for your baby, a used crib requires an even more thorough inspection. In addition, do not use older or used cribs with decorative cutouts as many of them are unsafe and may contain lead paint. It is also important to check if these older cribs have been recalled. You can go to www.cpsc.gov/cgi-bin/recalldb/model.asp to determine what cribs have been recalled.
Crib Design Checklist
Below is a checklist to go over before placing your baby in a new or used crib:
- Spaces between slats. Slats should be spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches apart. All cribs manufactured after 1974 are required to meet this safety requirement, but it’s best to measure yourself.
- Missing slats. Missing slats can cause a number of injuries including causing the child’s head to become stuck depleting his or her oxygen, which can cause brain damage or death.
- Sharp Edges. Many children each year are seriously injured by a crib’s sharp edges.
- Cutout areas on the headboard or footboard. Cribs with this design are needlessly dangerous and should not be used.
- Top Rails Height. The top rails should be at least 26 inches above the top of the mattress.
- Crib Height. Set the mattress at its lowest position as soon as children call pull themselves up and stand. The crib should no longer be used once the height of the top rail is less that three-fourths the child’s height.
- Missing Screws or Bolts. This problem can cause cuts and abrasions or lead to slats popping off the crib creating the dangers mentioned above.
- Crib Hardware. The crib’s hardware should be periodically checked, and the drop latches must be too difficult for a child to release.
- Crib Mattress. The mattress must fit tightly into the crib so that no more than two fingers can fit between the edge of the mattress and the crib’s frame. The mattress should be firm.
- Bedding. Avoid soft bedding and put your baby to sleep on his or her back.
As a West Virginia personal injury lawyer, I see a lot of accidents and injuries that could have been prevented. I hope the crib checklist above helps you keep your baby safe. If your baby has been injured by a defective crib, please feel free to call us for a free consultation to discuss your options at 1-877-943-9378.