Antiques Crib Safety
Is it Safe?
Well-meaning family members may be pushing you to accept your great great grandmother's antique maple crib, and it may be a thing of beauty, but you have a nagging suspicion it may not be safe for your baby. Or, perhaps antiquing is your thing and it's only natural that your love of the old and beautiful translates into your conception of your baby's decor, but you want to know if there's anything special you need to do to make such heirlooms safe. Aside from Granny's crib and your love of antiques, even an older crib that is not really an antique deserves your scrutiny to make sure it adheres to modern safety criteria. Read on for the low-down on antique or older cribs and safety standards. Also check out our great article on painting safety for great ways to ensure you prepare your baby's nursery the right way.
The U.S. government has charged the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) with keeping the public safe from dangers from more than 15,000 kinds of consumer products. Among these consumer items, cribs are a biggie, since unsafe cribs account for many tragic accidents which, with some foresight, may have been prevented. The CPSC's main charge is to prevent the marketing of products that can pose fire, electrical, mechanical, or chemical hazards, as well as products that have a tendency to harm children. Because of CPSC intervention, consumers have seen a 30% reduction in the rate of injuries and death from consumer products during the last 30 years.
So, what's the danger in old cribs? It's simple: old, soft mattresses pose a risk of suffocation and may not be a good fit for the crib frame, which can mean a baby might slip between the bed frame and the mattress. Slats that are too far apart can be traps for small heads, as can decorative cut-outs in headboards. Corner posts may pose a danger to babies who can stand, since loose clothing can become caught on the posts, causing injuries and choking hazards.
Checking it Twice
There may be ways and means to make your antique or thrift shop find safe for your child. For instance, if the bed checks out otherwise, you may be able to replace the mattress with one that has a perfect fit to the bed frame and is firm enough not to pose a risk of suffocation. Check your find against the following list to determine whether your old crib is safe for your baby.
Firm, tight-fitting mattress
No missing or broken slats or hardware
Slats must be no more than 2 3/8 of an inch apart, about the width of a soda bottle cap
Corner posts must be no higher than 1 1/6 inch
No design cutouts in headboards or footboards
Cribs not in compliance with current safety standards should be destroyed or used for decoration, only.