Safety Alert: Stay away from drop-side cribs

Safety is one of the topics we cover the most when we consult with parents. We advise you to always (1) make sure that your baby products and furniture is JPMA certified, (2) check the list of recalled products, and (3) use the products in the exact way the manufactures details in the manual. It saddens me to read about baby products’ recalls, as there are always terrible stories of children who have been hurt or died because of those products.

Today, we wanted to urge you to not buy drop-side cribs, and to get rid of them if you already have them. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled 10 million drop-side cribs since in the past 2.5 years, including 2 million in the month of June 2010 alone. This has led them to propose new crib safety standards that will ban the sale of drop-side cribs and prohibit their use in hotels and daycare centers.

These new standards will not be finalized until December this year. However, we ask you to follow them NOW! There have already been enough deaths and injuries among our babies and children because of this. When drop-side hardware breaks or deforms, the drop-side can detach in one or more corners of the crib. If an infant or toddler moves into this space, the child can get trapped or wedged between the crib mattress and drop-side and suffocate. Infants can also strangle in the “V” shape formed by a drop-side that detaches in an upper corner.

One of my mentors always says ‘don’t look at what something costs, look at what it’s worth’. Certified are not necessarily more expensive than non-certified. The safety and wellbeing of your children is way more important than a couple hundred dollars, you know that! So, if you currently have your baby sleeping in a drop-side crib, STOP! Go buy another one now! Don’t wait!

The cribs are the only place where you would leave your baby unattended; it’s their private safety haven. Make sure it is really safe!

By Diana Gonzalez Blanco, B.B.A., M.B.A., is a Certified Youth, Parenting and Family Coach; a Baby and Toddler Sleep Expert; and founder of Smooth Parenting. Smooth Parenting is a baby & toddler sleep training consultancy and parenting coaching firm, that helps families around the world get a good night sleep and a peaceful, smooth and happy family life. Diana has an impressive track record of helping families teach their babies to sleep. Her approach to sleep training and parenting is gentle, progressive, effective, holds the wellbeing of the child first, and follows the guidelines provided by the American Association of Pediatrics.

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Baby Sleep Safety

We’d like to share with you some simple safety tips to have in mind when putting your baby to sleep for nights and naps. Many of them have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS*.
  • Put your baby to sleep on his back
  • Keep your baby’s face clear of coverings
  • Do not leave loose bedding, pillows, or stuffed toys in the crib
  • Do not over-clothe your baby, avoid overheating
  • Use a safety-certified crib (JPMA certified)
  • Have a firm crib mattress
  • Don’t let your baby fall asleep on the sofa, or untied on a swing/ bouncy seat
  • Maintain an appropriate temperature on your baby’s room (68 – 72 F)
  • Improve the ventilation in your baby’s room
  • Avoid exposing your baby to tobacco smoke
  • Offer your baby a pacifier (under 12 months old)

Educate babysitters, day-care providers, grandparents, and everyone who cares for your baby about SIDS risk and the importance of observing the advice offered here.

* SIDS: Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the unexpected, sudden death of a child under age 1 in which an autopsy does not show an explainable cause of death. There are no symptoms. SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old. Though SIDS remains unpredictable, you can help reduce your infant’s risk.