To help to save young lives, officials with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently approved a new federal mandatory standard to improve the safety of cradles and bassinets. The vote was easy on this one, at 4 to 1.
The CPSC adopted this set of rules after reports of more than 425 incidents involving bassinets and cradles, including more than 130 fatalities from November 2007 through March 2013. The new regulations require improved testing and tighten the stability requirements, among other changes to help to prevent crib injuries in Broward and elsewhere.
“These are heart-wrenching tragedies, and this rule seeks to address them,” said Commissioner Nancy A. Nord.
-A clarification of the scope of the bassinet/cradle standard.
-An alteration to the testing criteria for the flatness of the mattress.
-An exemption from the mattress flatness requirement for bassinets that are no more than 15 inches in width.
-Another requirement for bassinets with removable beds.
-A change in the test to evaluate stability. Officials would like to require a newborn dummy instead of the infant dummy.
Parents should always remember to avoid bassinets and cradles with a motion or rocking feature, as these have caused suffocation when babies rolled against the edge. As with a crib, your bassinet should have a firm mattress that fits snugly without any space around the edges.
When looking for a new crib or bassinet, you also want to make sure that it hasn’t been recalled. In recent years there have been thousands of recalls on these items for a variety of safety issues such as drop-sides or too much space around the crib mattress. The Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps track of recalled cribs and bassinets. Visit cs.cdsc.gov to check before you buy.
Always put babies on their back to sleep, in a crib or bassinet that’s free of pillows, blankets, toys and bumper pads. We know that stuffed animals, bumpers and all those cute accessories make a baby’s crib seem warm and cozy. Unfortunately, they can often do more harm than good. Soft bedding can block a baby’s airway during sleep. A firm mattress covered with a tight-fitting crib sheet is all you need to make your baby sleep like a baby.
“Babies wiggle and things tumble, and if they do that in a bad combination, the baby can end up with his little face up against a surface that doesn’t allow him to breathe,” said Clemencia Molina with the Sudden Infant and Child Death Resource Center.
Nationally, Sudden Infant Death (SIDS) rates are down about 50 percent over the past twenty years after pediatricians recommended babies sleep on their backs. Advocates say everyone in a baby’s life needs to keep toys and blankets out of the crib.
As with cribs, slats shouldn’t be more than 2 3/8 inches apart (to prevent your baby’s head from slipping through or getting stuck). . Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s suggestions for weight and size, and stop using the product when your baby can roll over, push up on his hands and knees, or sit up by himself. Also, the mattress supports should be strong enough to hold your baby without bending or flexing.
If you or someone in your family has been injured, contact the Hollander Law Firm at 888-751-7770 for a free and confidential consultation. There is no fee unless we win.