Keep Your Baby Safe

Using an Old Crib

Risk: Hand-me-down cribs and yard-sale finds that are more than ten years old may not meet current safety standards. The biggest design flaws of older models: side slats wide enough to allow a baby's body -- but not her head -- to slip through, which are a strangulation hazard.

Remedy: Make sure side slats are no more than 2 3/8 inches apart and that none are cracked or missing. Also check for loose or broken hardware, missing parts, peeling paint, splinters, and sharp edges. And don't use a crib with corner posts or decorative headboard or footboard cutouts (some current models still have these), all of which could snag a baby's clothing, causing strangulation.

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