Dozens of Babies Hurt in Crib Falls Every Day, Study Shows
Jamie G. GoldsteinFebruary 28, 2011 3:36 PM
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A new study of non-fatal crib injuries for children under two years old shows that dozens of babies suffer injuries from falling from their cribs. The results are based off of data coming from National Electronic Injury Surveillance System which monitored national injuries from cribs, bassinets, and playpens over the last two decades. The study is the first of its kind in looking at retrospective, national data of these injuries. In most cases, the children were not being monitored when the fall occurred. Additionally, older children were more likely to be hurt more often because of their increased mobility. Mattresses in cribs are supposed to be adjusted with age but babies develop so quickly that caregivers and parents may be caught unprepared. Out of all the children, about 1.2% percent died after their heads became stuck in the crib’s bars or drop-sides.
The study concludes that “[g]iven the consistently high number of observed injuries, greater efforts are needed to ensure safety in the design and manufacture of these products, ensure their proper usage in the home, and increase awareness of their potential dangers to young children.” These alarming numbers are part of the reason that new standards for crib safety are to be implemented this June. In December, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) unanimously approved new standards for all full-size and non full-size baby cribs. These were the first improvements made to the standards in over 30 years. There are four goals of the new standards:
(1) stop the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs; (2) make mattress supports stronger; (3) make crib hardware more durable; and (4) make safety testing more rigorous.
It’s about time regulations are stepped up for these cribs due to the fact that the CPSC has recalled over 11 million cribs. Over 32 deaths have been tied to faulty cribs as well as additional deaths tied specifically to drop-side style cribs (which have now been banned from the market entirely). Stork Craft Manufacturing issued the biggest recall of cribs in history in 2009 after recalling 2.1 million due to hardware problems that caused children’s heads to get stuck. In 2010, about 220,000 Graco-brand cribs were recalled for similar issues.