New, safer cribs should prevent infant deaths

There's No Substitute for Experience

It is a parent's worst nightmare to put their infant to bed and to later find the child strangled or suffocated by an unsafe crib. Thirty-two families have lived that nightmare and have been forced to deal with the wrongful death of their infants since 2000. Even more children have died from other crib-related injuries.

The federal government and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, however, has recently implemented new safety requirements for cribs. The Tennessean reports that the Tennessee Department of Human Services will be checking each and every child-care center for compliance. Tennessee child-care providers will have until December 28, 2012 before their cribs must comply with the new rules.

One of the biggest crib changes is that there can no longer be drop sides on cribs. The drop side had been a popular feature for parents and child-care providers because it made access to the child easier. According to some reports, however, the drop side is one of the leading causes of crib-related deaths and injuries. Additionally, newer cribs will also need to be sturdier, including stronger slats and hardware.

While the Tennessee Department of Human Services will be making sure cribs are up to regulation, they will only be looking at licensed child-care providers. The state government does not appear to have any plans to make sure individual parents have these newer and safer cribs. Nor does it look like babysitters or other less formal child-care providers will be investigated. The Tennessean encourages parents to make sure that any crib their child spends time in is up to these stricter safety codes in order to prevent crib injuries or death.

Crib prices range between $200 and $900.

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