The following safety guidelines are adapted from the United States
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They are for various equipment found
in nurseries, both at home and in child care settings. For more information, see the Consumer
Product Safety Commission website (www.cpsc.gov).
All back carriers should meet the following safety standards:
Check if meets standards
Do not use a framed back carrier until the baby is 4
or 5 months old, when his or her neck is able to withstand jolts and not
sustain an injury.
All bassinets and cradles should meet the following safety standards:
Bassinet/cradle has smooth surfaces—no
protruding staples or other hardware that could injure the baby.
Wood or metal cradles have slats spaced no
more than 2 3/8 inches (60 mm) apart.
Follow the manufacturer's guidelines on weight and
size of baby who can safely use these products. Do not use sleep positioners.
All carrier seats should meet the following safety standards:
Never use the carrier as a car seat unless it is
labeled for that purpose.
All changing tables should meet the following safety standards:
Do not leave a baby on the table unattended. Always
use the straps to prevent the baby from falling.
All cribs should meet the following safety standards:
No slats are missing, loose, or cracked.
Mattress fits snugly—no more than two
finger-widths between edge of mattress and crib side.
Mattress support is securely attached to the
headboard and footboard.
Corner posts are no higher than 1/16 inch (1.5
Top edges of headboard and footboard have no
All screws, bolts, and other hardware are
present and tight.
Don't use sleep positioners or crib bumpers. Don't place the crib near draperies or blinds. A child
can get strangled by window cords or fall through a screen. When the child reaches 35
inches (90 cm) in height, he or she has outgrown the crib and should sleep in a
Movable side rails are a safety hazard, and new cribs are no longer made with them. If your crib has the kind of
side rail that can be raised and lowered, always raise it and secure it properly when your child is in the crib.
All crib toys should meet the following safety standards:
No strings or cords should dangle into the
Crib gym or mobile has a label warning to
remove from crib when the child can push up on hands and knees or reaches 5 months
of age, whichever comes first.
Toy parts are too large to be a choking
No soft toys or stuffed animals are in the crib when you put your baby to sleep.
Avoid hanging toys across the crib or on crib corner
posts with strings long enough to result in strangulation. Remove crib gyms
when the child is able to pull or push up on hands and knees.
All gates and enclosures should meet the following safety standards:
Openings in gate are too small to entrap a
child's head or neck.
Hazardous accordion-style gates with large V-shaped
or diamond-shaped openings aren't made anymore. But they may be sold at yard
sales or thrift stores. Do not use them.
All high chairs should meet the following safety standards:
There is a crotch strap that can restrain a
child in a high chair.
High chair has restraining straps that are
independent of the tray.
Buckles on straps are easy to fasten and
High chair has a wide base for stability.
Folding high chairs have an effective locking
The feeding tray is not a restraint. Only safety
straps keep the child from climbing out of the high chair or sliding down and
All pacifiers should meet the following safety standards:
Never hang anything around your baby's neck.
Since pacifiers come in different sizes, make sure that your baby is using a pacifier that's intended for his or her current age.
All playpens should meet the following safety standards:
Playpens or travel cribs have top rails that
will automatically lock when lifted into the normal use position.
Playpen does not have a rotating hinge in the
center of the top rails.
Drop-side mesh playpen or mesh crib has label
warning never to leave a side in the down position.
Mesh has no tears or loose threads.
Wooden playpen has slats spaced no more than
2 3/8 inches (60 mm) apart.
Never leave an infant in a mesh playpen or crib with
the drop-side down. Infants can roll into the space between the mattress and
loose mesh side and suffocate.
All rattles, squeeze toys, and teethers should meet the following safety standards:
Rattles, squeeze toys, and teethers have
handles too large to lodge in a baby's throat.
Squeeze toys do not contain a squeaker that
could detach and choke a baby.
Rattles should not have ends shaped like a
To prevent suffocation, take rattles, squeeze toys,
teethers, and other toys out of the crib or playpen when the baby
All strollers and carriages should meet the following safety standards:
Always secure the seat belts. Never leave a child
unattended in a stroller. Close the opening between the handrest (grab bar) and
seat when using a stroller in the reclined-carriage position. When folding or
unfolding a stroller, keep your child away from it.
All toy chests should meet the following safety standards:
If you already own a toy chest or trunk with a freely
falling lid, remove the lid to avoid a head injury to a small child, or install
a spring-loaded lid support.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an
independent federal regulatory agency. The goal of this agency is to save lives
and keep families safe by reducing the risk of injuries and deaths associated
with consumer products. CPSC develops safety standards, recalls products or
organizes how they will be repaired, researches possible product hazards, and
informs the general public about these and other safety issues. You can call
their toll-free number or e-mail them to report unsafe products.
Other Works ConsultedConsumer Product Safety Commission (2003).
The Safe Nursery: A Booklet to Help Avoid Injuries From Nursery Furniture and Equipment. Available online:
July 25, 2012
Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics & Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
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