By Joyce Davis, President of Keeping Babies Safe
This holiday season many Grandparents and their families will travel with new babies. There are some important updates with crib safety regulations going into effect by December 28th in “Places of Public Accommodation” i.e., Hotels and Motels, that you need to know about. We at Keeping Babies Safe are here to help make your travels this holiday season less stressful and safer.
Here are some important travel safety tips that will point you in the right direction:
Both newbies to baby travel and experienced hands may sometimes feel challenged given the complexity of crib safety rules. The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s December 28th deadline for Places of Public Accommodation must adhere to these new crib safety rules.
Basically, this new CPSC ruling means that hotels and motels have until December 28th to install cribs that adhere to new safety rules which apply to full-size and non full-size cribs, prohibit the manufacture, sale and use of traditional drop-side rail cribs, strengthen crib slats and mattress supports, and improve the quality of hardware and require more rigorous testing. The details of the rule are available on CPSC’s website at www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr11/cribfinal.pdf. For full information on crib safety, go to our website: www.keepingbabiessafe.org and get familiar with the details of what constitutes a safe crib. Print and take a cheat sheet of what constitutes a safe crib with you wherever you travel.
Hotel/Motel Crib Safety – Call Ahead To Make Sure Cribs Conform To New Standards/Safety Rules:
While hotels and motels have until the end of the year to make sure their cribs conform to the CPSC’s new crib safety rules, you should try to secure accommodations that have already done so.
1. Call your accommodation ahead of time and ask them if their cribs conform to these new safety rules.
2. Ask Hotels/Motels for the number and model name of the crib they use, and go to www.keepingbabiessafe.org to check if it has been recalled.
3. Ask if they have fitted sheets for the crib. Never use adult sheets on a crib.
4. Do your own spot check on the crib when you check in. Make sure there are no gaps larger than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
5. For cribs, bare is best: this means no pillows or quilts.
6. Also make sure the crib is not near a window with a blind: babies can strangle on window cords. Download specs on safe cribs from our website and bring them with you.
Check these points and even if one or two are missing or in doubt, ask to speak with the General Manager or the Manager on Duty and request a crib that conforms to all of the specifications. If you are unsure about your baby’s safety, consider moving to another hotel or motel that puts your family’s safety first. If you must use a hotel or motel’s play yard (what used to be called a play pen) make sure you only use the mattress foundation of the yard itself—no extra padding.
Safe travels and our very best wishes for a happy holiday season,