One of the first items new parents will likely focus on is the baby’s bed. Generally, one of the pricier baby items that will be needed, it can be tempting to buy a second-hand crib or borrow from a friend or relative. While this route can be significantly less expensive, it is crucial that consumers check various elements of the crib to ensure its safety prior to use. Particularly, since safety standards are routinely reviewed and changed as new information becomes available, older cribs are less likely to meet current safety standards.
When looking at cribs, whether used or new, one of the first items to look for is a Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certification. Newer cribs with this certification have been manufactured in accordance with the latest guidelines regarding potentially dangerous drop sides, which have caused injuries and even fatalities in infants.
A second factor in determining the safety of a crib is the spacing between the slats. Slats spaced too far apart can allow infants’ heads to become stuck between them causing serious injury and/or death. Therefore, the government has determined that the spacing between the slats should be less than 2-3/8 inches apart.
Additionally, consumers should inspect cribs to ensure all of the bolts, screws and hardware are original and that individual parts and joints fit tightly and that the wood is free of splinters and jagged surfaces. Moreover, any painted surfaces should be covered with lead-free paint which has no peeling or cracking.
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