Sleep Safety (page 2)
Is your baby’s crib safe? Is Grandma’s beautiful knit blanket safe for your baby to sleep with? Can stuffed animals be dangerous?
Keep your child safe in his crib.
There are several things you can do to keep your child safe when sleeping. Cribs should be empty when your baby is laid to rest. That means NO pillows, blankets, toys, or other objects. Also, to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), place your baby on his back to sleep. Locate cribs away from hazardous items like curtain strings and mini-blind pulls, pictures on the wall, tables, lamps, and mobiles once your baby can stand.
Make sure your crib meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s standards.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission has guidelines and safety tips on their web site www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5030.html:
- Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress so your baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
- Replace missing, loose, broken or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
- There should be no more than 2 3/8 inches (about the width of a soda can) between crib slats so your baby's head or body cannot fit through the slats.
- Replace missing or cracked slats.
- Corner posts should not be over 1/16th inch high to prevent your baby's clothing catching.
- Cutouts in the headboard or footboard could allow your baby's head to get trapped.
Aside from your child and one possible sheet, the crib should be empty when it’s bedtime. Stuffed animals, blankets, and items with loose parts, strings, or ribbons should be placed far from where your baby sleeps.
Locate the crib away from danger.
Look around the room for items your baby can reach from inside his crib. Particularly dangerous are curtain and mini-blind cords on windows near your baby’s crib. These dangling strings could tempt a baby to grab them, and he could become wrapped up in or strangled by them. Be careful with any tables, lamps, and mobiles whose parts may come off, and pictures your baby could knock off the walls.
Place your baby in the crib safely.
Did you know that there is a right and a wrong way to tuck in and place your baby in the crib? Always put your infant to sleep lying on his back. See Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) for information on correctly positioning your baby.
Sharing your bed
There may be many positive things about bed sharing (also called co-sleeping and the family bed), including bonding and improved breast-feeding. However, since the adult bed was not meant for a sleeping infant, it can become a place of danger for him. The cushiony surface, soft covers, and pillows can create a suffocating environment, increasing the risks of SIDS death. Because of this risk, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that there is no basis at this time for encouraging bed sharing as a strategy to reduce SIDS risk. Consult your pediatrician first if you wish to participate in bed sharing with your infant. See Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for more information on SIDS.
For more information visit:
Consumer Products Safety Commission
This site contains many crib safety tips that will help keep your child safe.
The Danny Foundation
The Danny Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting nursery product safety. Their site includes a good crib safety checklist to help keep your baby’s nursery safe.
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