(Editor’s note: Christine has important warnings for parents of infants who may get hurt in their crib. Thanks, Christine!)
Cribs: A Safe Place Full of Hazards
Of course, the title is a paradox. How can a safe place be full of hazards? Easy. Think about your home. Your house is your haven. Your place to escape from the world; a safe haven. It is also the place where most personal injuries and accidental deaths occur. Cribs are similar to a home. It provides a safe secure place for the infant to sleep, and, because of the amount of time the infant remains in the crib, it presents many risks of injury or even death.
Dangers with New Cribs
Even new cribs that meet all government standards present dangers to babies. The wooden sides are still hard and can injure a rocking baby. A rip in a mattress cover or a sheet can ensnare a baby’s legs or arms causing injury, or can ensnare his head leading to suffocation. Even though the newer cribs have closely spaced slats to prevent the baby’s head from protruding, it’s still possible for the baby’s legs or arms to poke through and become twisted or otherwise injured. Fortunately, most of these dangers have been recognized and remedies are available.
Up, Up, and Out
It doesn’t take too long for the baby to support himself upright by holding onto the sides of the crib. He quickly learns to climb. If the mattress is positioned high enough in the crib, he’ll undoubtedly find a way to climb up over the railing. Unfortunately, the drop to the floor from that height could seriously injure him. As the baby becomes more of an upright explorer, move the mattress to its lowest possible position so that he cannot reach the top. Once he is tall enough to reach at that setting, it’s time to make the transition to a bed, which a convertible baby crib can be a quite relief.
Mobiles are Safe When out of Reach, but Deadly When Not
Mobiles are great for exercising the baby’s visual senses. It’s a visual abstraction. Once the baby is big enough to reach it, however, it becomes an interesting tactile thing, and the baby will pull it down and put pieces in his mouth, at the risk of chocking. Once the baby can stand, remove the mobile. Perhaps you can place it over the changing table where the baby is never left unsupervised.
Once the baby can stand with support, climbing is a natural instinct. Anything in the crib becomes a stepstool: stuffed animals, pillows, and other toys. The baby can climb up on them, lose his grip, and fall into the side of the crib. Worse yet, he can climb over the railing and plunge to the floor. Remove all of these hazards and place them in a safe place for show, giving them to the baby only when supervised.
Loose Sheets and Ripped Materials
Loose fitting sheets and ripped materials present the risk of entanglement, injury, or strangulation. Check these every day, and replace damaged items immediately. Make sure that all sheets are form fitted to the mattress using elastic straps to secure them if necessary. Flat sheets become loose very easily.
Christine Allen is a writer for www.livesnet.com, a site for baby products reviews and tips. She loves to make reviews on baby bestsellers and shares her parenting stories. She would like to connect with you on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/livesnet). Please read her hot review on Davinci Kalani 4-1 convertible crib and find out why she loves it the best.
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