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10 Safety Tips for a Safe Crib

If the crib is safe, your baby will be safe. Here are some important tips for a safe crib:

. Check all crib hardware, tightening all nuts, bolts, and screws frequently. After a crib is moved, be sure all mattress support hangers are secure. Check hooks regularly to be sure none are broken or bent. Open hooks may allow the mattress to fall.

. Mattress support hangers should be secured by bolts or closed hooks. Check frequently to be sure they have not become disconnected. Never use a crib with broken or missing parts.

. Secure bumper pads around the entire crib and snap or tie in place at least one in each corner, in the middle of each long side, and on both the top and the bottom edges. Cut off any excess string length as these can tangle with the baby.

. Always lock the side rail in its raised position whenever you place your child in the crib. As soon as your child can stand up, adjust the mattress to its lowest position and remove the bumper pads. Also, remove any large toys because an active toddler will use anything for climbing out of the crib.

. Corner posts should be less than 1/16 inches high (1-1/2 mm) unless the crib has a canopy. Do not use a crib that has decorative knobs on corner posts. If you already have a crib with such knobs, the knobs should be unscrewed or sawed off flush with the headboard or footboard. Sand off splinters and sharp corners.

. Avoid older cribs with headboard and footboard designs that may allow an infant's head to become caught in the openings between the corner post and the top rail or in other openings in the top edge of the headboard structure. These openings may lead to strangulation.

. Use a crib that meets federal safety regulations and industry standards to make sure it has a tight-fitting mattress. Check the labeling on these products to make sure they meet safety requirements.

. Remove and destroy all plastic wrapping materials from the crib. Never use plastic bags as mattress covers. The plastic film may cling to a baby's face and cause suffocation.

To reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death of infants and prevent suffocation, put your baby to sleep on his/her back in a crib on a firm, flat mattress. Make sure there is no soft bedding underneath your baby.


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