The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued numerous recalls on cribs since fall 2007. Common defects include broken, missing or improperly functioning hardware.
CPSC recommends that parents take the following precautions:
Do not use any crib with missing, broken or loose parts.
Hardware should be inspected and tightened from time to time.
Check to make sure the drop-side or any other moving part operates smoothly on its track.
Check all sides and corners of the crib for disengagement, which can create a gap and entrap a child.
Do not try to repair a crib without manufacturer-approved hardware or with tape, wire or rope.
Putting a broken side up against the wall does not solve the problem and often can make it worse.
To determine if a crib has been recalled, visit www.cpsc.gov.
When choosing a crib, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises parents to ensure that the crib meets current safety standards. Cribs manufactured since 1990 will have slats no wider than 2-3/8 inches apart so a child’s head cannot become trapped, will have no cutouts in the headboard or footboard, and will not have corner posts.
Falls are common with cribs but can be prevented by lowering the crib mattress and ensuring the mattress fits snugly, according to the AAP.
Finally, keep the crib away from windows. Cords from blinds or other window coverings pose a strangulation hazard.