Safe Sleep for Babies

Author: Abbigale B. Fredrick, Richmond, VA Attorney

Decorating your baby’s nursery is a fun and exciting experience for many expectant parents. Baby bedding sets come in many colors and designs to match nearly every parent’s decorating style or theme. However, babies spend the majority of time sleeping. For that reason, the nursery needs to be the safest room in the house. Educating yourself about safe sleep is important for your baby’s well-being and your peace of mind.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that to prevent suffocation, “Bare is Best” when it comes to a baby’s sleep environment. The fewer items in your baby’s crib, the better. According to the CPSC, there were nearly 700 deaths involving infants 12 months and younger related to suffocation from pillows and cushions placed in or near a baby’s sleep environment. Therefore, avoid placing pillows, stuffed animals or thick quilts in your baby’s crib. Crib bumpers are also controversial. The American Academy of Pediatrics and many other child safety organizations have suggested that parents and child care providers should remove crib bumper pads from baby cribs due to safety concerns. However, there are no federal regulations regarding crib bumpers. If you are considering purchasing a crib bumper for your baby’s crib, please make yourself aware of the potential dangers and risks.

Other important safety measures to consider when preparing your baby’s nursery include:

  • Do not place cribs near windows with blinds and/or cords, curtain cords, baby monitor cords, and/or electrical cords of any kind. All of these pose a strangulation hazard.
  • Carefully assemble your crib according to the manufacturer’s directions. Do not guess - if there are missing parts or you are unsure, call the phone number provided for help with assembly.
  • After you place the mattress in your crib, test to make sure the gaps are no wider than two fingers between the sides of the crib and the mattress.
  • Do not use cribs more than 10 years old. Also, do not use broken, recalled, or modified cribs.
  • If you are going to use a portable play yard or portable crib to put your baby to sleep, do not use one that is broken, modified, recalled, or more than 10 years old. Make sure that you use only the mattress provided and no additional padding in the play yard.

The safest place for a baby to sleep is in a safe crib. With a little preparation and knowledge, you can be assured a comfortable night’s rest for both you and your baby.

If you or a loved one has suffered a loss due to the negligence of a crib manufacturer, Allen & Allen can help. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-768-2222.

About the Author: Abbigale B. Fredrick is the Intake Attorney for Allen & Allen, located in the firm’s Richmond, VA office. Abby supervises the new case department and works with clients at the earliest stages of their cases. She meets with potential new clients and helps determine how Allen & Allen’s attorneys are best able to meet their needs. Abby’s background in insurance defense gives her valuable insights into how insurance companies handle and evaluate personal injury and medical malpractice claims.

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