In the first national study of its kind on crib injuries, the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital reported some pretty disturbing statistics: 9,500 children are taken to emergency rooms with crib-related injuries every year. That's 26 children per day. Every day!
While the study did show a decrease in injuries as more cribs, such as the dangerous drop-side style, are recalled, the numbers are still much higher than one would imagine for a sleeping area for babies. Most of the injures were scrapes and bruises, but one in five were head injuries or concussions.
I'm not a committed co-sleeper -- more of an accidental one -- but this study is really making me lean more AP. Especially now that my boy is getting stronger and trying to climb, since they said the most injures reported are older children who are climbing out of the crib. Which means my babe is moving to a big boy bed ASAP.
Before you panic, like I am, there are some common sense things you can do to make your crib as safe as possible:
Select a crib, playpen, or bassinet that meets all current safety standards, one that does not have drop-down sides, and has not been recalled. To see which models are on the recall list, parents can go to Recalls.gov.
Always place your baby on his or her back in any crib or sleeping area.
Do not place pillows, bumpers, stuffed animals, sleep positioners, or anything else in the crib or sleeping area with your baby.
Do not put blankets in the crib or sleeping area. To keep babies warm, dress them appropriately, but do not use blankets.
The safest crib is a bare crib without anything in it other than the mattress and a tight-fitting sheet.
Also, doctors suggest parents check cribs, playpens, and bassinets often to make sure there are no loose or broken parts, and as your baby gets older, be aware of their strength and mobility.
While I realize millions of babies are not injured in cribs, these numbers are worth looking at -- and re-evaluating your nursery. I know I did.
Does this study make you want to co-sleep?
Image via Nationwide Children's Hospital