Although cribs are intended to prevent injuries, approximately 11,500 babies are hospitalized from crib injuries each year. In addition, crib injuries cause about 26 deaths each year, usually by asphyxiation. While these tragic injuries can happen for many reasons, an alarming number of injuries and deaths are caused by defects in crib manufacturing or design.
Simplicity and Graco Crib Recall
For example, in 2007, a flaw was discovered in the design of Simplicity and Graco cribs which allowed them to be assembled with the drop rail upside down. When this happened, the rail could separate from the side, creating a gap where a child could become entrapped and suffocate. To date, three children’s deaths and numerous non-fatal injuries have been blamed on the recalled Simplicity and Graco cribs.
Preventing Crib Injuries and Deaths
Because babies and young children are regularly left unsupervised while in their cribs, it is important that parents take precautions to help prevent injuries and deaths. Using, crib equipment properly and keeping crib features updated as children grow are two great ways to prevent crib injuries and deaths. In addition, cribs injuries and deaths can be prevented by keeping cribs in compliance with current safety standards. A properly constructed crib has:
- Less than 2.4 in. (6.1 cm) of space between slats (side rails). This prevents a child’s head from becoming trapped.
- No cutout designs or spaces if there is an otherwise solid headboard or footboard. A child’s head, hands, arms, or legs can get stuck, causing injuries or death.
- No corner posts. Clothing can attach to these posts and strangle a child, causing injuries or death.
- Tight and secure screws, bolts, and other construction materials. Check these parts weekly. A physically active child can loosen these structures, and the crib can collapse. If replacement parts are needed, do not use the crib until the repairs are made. Only use parts that come from the manufacturer.
- Lead-free paint. Older cribs may have paint that is lead-based. Injuries, such as lead poisoning, can result when babies chew or gnaw on a crib with lead-based paint.
If you or anyone you know has a child who was the victim of crib injuries or death, please contact us now to assess your legal rights.