Given all that is known about crib safety, and how long the industry has known about potential hazards, it amazes me that we still have a problem with dangerous cribs. Over the last month, there have been four crib recalls, all for entrapment and suffocation hazards. As is too often the case, it took the death or serious injury of a child for these recalls to happen. The recalled cribs are:
- The Playkids U.S.A. convertible crib/playpen/bassinet/bed,
- Delta drop side cribs manufactured prior to 2006
- Additional Delta Drop Side Cribs
- Simplicity Brand Drop Side Cribs
The Delta recall involves over 1,500,000 cribs. The danger involves missing or failing safety pegs for the drop rails. The CPSC is aware of two deaths and other instances of entrapment involving these cribs.
Whenever parents use previously owned/older cribs, they should make sure that they have all the hardware and that they are putting the crib together correctly. For instance, for some older cribs, it is possible to switch the mattress platform with the crib rails. If directions are not with the crib, parents should check the manufacturers website to see if they are posted there. Most importantly, use common sense. After the crib has been put together, look for any noticeable gaps. Also make sure that the drop rail, if there is one, is well attached and slides smoothly. Finally, make sure that there are no large gaps between the spindles where a baby’s head could become entrapped. One useful test — if a soda can can fit through the spindles, they are too wide.