New crib safety standards
every grandparent should know
By Laura Nikolovska
A recent study found that many grandparents don’t know the latest child safety guidelines. For example, almost 50% of grandparents polled thought it was safe for babies to sleep with soft bedding and stuffed animals; in fact, those items pose a suffocation hazard. About 33% said babies should sleep on their stomachs and 23% said on their sides. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), infants should be placed on their backs to help prevent SIDS. (Click here for more Safe Sleep Tips.)
That’s why Kids In Danger (KID), a nonprofit organization focused on child product safety, started the Debby Sayah Grandparent Outreach Program.
Debby was the happy grandmother of twins Andy and Jake. In 2001, Andy, just 2 months old, was killed by an infant sleep positioner. Marketed as an aid to help prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the product actually poses a suffocation risk and should not be used.
A major area of concern of SIDs experts and child product safety organizations is cribs, including portable cribs used for visits to grandparents’ houses. When purchasing a crib, make sure it meets these new safety standards of the US Consumer Products Safety Commission:
- The sides do not drop down. (Drop-side cribs are now illegal in the United States.)
- The crib is new or was manufactured before 2011, and has not been recalled.
- The sides are at least 26 inches above the mattress at its lowest position.
- The mattress is tight-fitting (two fingers cannot fit between the mattress and sides).
- You cannot fit a soda can between the crib slats.
- The crib has no corner post extensions or decorative cut-outs.
- All hardware is in place and tight, and none is protruding.
- Joints and parts fit tightly.
- The wood / metal is smooth and free of splinters / burrs.
- The finish (paint or stain / varnish) is lead-free and not cracked or peeling.
Please visit Crib Product Hazards for more information.
To watch a video on the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s new crib safety standards, the most stringent in the world, go to
Laura Nikolovska came to Kids in Danger in September 2012, after five years in the education sector, as a teacher and as an education advisor in the Peace Corps.