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Click on the links to view news about crib safety or scroll the page

Reminder about Hotel Crib Safety

Hazards of Soft Bedding for Babies

Soft Bedding a Factor in Playpen Deaths

Health Canada Advisory on the safety of Playpens

Infants Can Suffocate In Mesh Drop-Sided Playpens


Folding Crib Recall Notice - CPSC, Hufco-Delaware Company and Evenflo Company Inc. Announce Recall to Repair Gerry® and Evenflo® Portable Wood Cribs - Crib Safety Information for Hotels

The following press release issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission

February, 2000, WASHNGTON  – The Consumer Product Safety Commission Tuesday warned that most cribs found in hotels during a recent study were unsafe for infants and urged all hotels to join a campaign for safer cribs. The warning stems from safety concerns about a number of cribs and so-called "play yards" in general and from spot checks at some 90 hotels performed by volunteers from the Safe Kids Coalition. About 40 deaths occur every year involving cribs, though not necessarily in hotels.

"Of the 122 cribs that Safe Kids Coalition volunteers observed," said Heather Paul, executive director of the group, "hazards were unfortunately observed in half of them. More than half of cribs were provided with adult sheets -- a potential cause of strangulation and suffocation."

The CPSC said unsafe cribs and play yards were found in 80 percent of hotels and motels visited for the study. "Children under (age) 2 spend seven million nights a year in hotels," said Commission Chairman Ann Brown.

Cribs considered to be unsafe can have slats spaced far enough apart so that an infant's head can get stuck in between them, they can have bedding that is so soft as to create a suffocation hazard, and some are designed to collapse in the middle which could lead to a child's head getting caught between the two halves of the device. Older cribs sometimes have exposed corners and slide rails which can lead to serious injuries if a child's hands or fingers get caught in them.


Note:  This press release was originally published in February 2000 - For more information on safe bedding, see below

February, 2000 - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National SAFE KIDS Campaign today announced a crib and play yard safety initiative to keep children safe when traveling with their families. Recent spot checks by SAFE KIDS found unsafe cribs and play yards in 80 percent of hotels and motels visited.

Bass Hotels & Resorts, which includes the Inter-Continental, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Crowne Plaza brands is joining the new safety initiative. CPSC invited 24 national hotel chains to participate in the safety initiative, but only Bass Hotels & Resorts agreed. CPSC and SAFE KIDS are encouraging other hotels and motels to participate and have prepared safety information that they can use to ensure their cribs are not hazardous.

Bass Hotels & Resorts will provide additional training for staff and hold a "Crib Safety Week" where each hotel's housekeeping and maintenance staff will conduct a thorough inspection of all cribs and play yards. The ongoing inspections will help ensure that the cribs and play yards meet current safety standards, are in good repair and have not been recalled. Bass Hotels & Resorts also plans to include crib safety information in hotel publications and on its website, and promote crib safety in media events targeted to begin around Mother's Day. The company has 2,800 hotels worldwide, including more than 1,300 in the United States.

Many traveling families use cribs and play yards provided by motels and hotels. Estimates show that children under age 2 spend more than 7 million nights per year in hotels, motels and resorts. CPSC estimates that there are about 65,000 hotels and motels in the U.S.

SAFE KIDS recently visited 90 hotels and motels in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Of the cribs inspected, 82 percent had at least one safety hazard, including loose hardware or lack of secured mattress supports that could entrap a baby; soft bedding, including quilts, comforters or pillows that could cause suffocation; and adult- sized sheets that pose a strangulation and suffocation hazard. Of the play yards and mesh cribs inspected, 52 percent had at least one safety hazard, including tears or holes in the meshing, which pose an entrapment risk to babies, and soft bedding.

The SAFE KIDS spot check gives a snapshot of what consumers might find while traveling.

Each year, about 40 babies suffocate or strangle in their cribs when they become trapped between broken crib parts or in cribs with older, unsafe designs. Soft bedding such as quilts, comforters or pillows can suffocate a baby. As many as 3,000 infants die each year from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and up to one-third of these may have suffocated on soft bedding. CPSC recommends that a baby under 12 months be put to sleep in a crib on his or her back with no soft bedding. Adult sheets should never be used in a crib because they pose a strangulation and suffocation risk to babies. Hotels and motels should provide fitted crib sheets in good condition that fit the mattress securely.

"Whether the hotel is on 5th Avenue or Main Street, there's no guarantee the crib you request will be safe and in good repair," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Parents who are traveling should not have to worry about the place they put their child down to sleep. I'm pleased that Bass Hotels and Resorts is joining this safety campaign. I'm very disappointed that other hotels are not participating."

Heather Paul, Executive Director of the National SAFE KIDS Campaign, said: "This informal assessment simply raises a red flag for the hotel industry that they might unknowingly be putting babies at risk. We want hotels to know there are simple steps they can take to help ensure a safe sleeping environment for their youngest guests."

CPSC encourages parents to ask ahead if the hotel or motel in which they are planning to stay has a system in place to ensure their cribs are safe.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Soft Bedding May Be Hazardous To Babies

To prevent infant deaths due to soft bedding, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development are revising their recommendations on safe bedding practices when putting infants down to sleep. Here are the revised recommendations to follow for infants under 12 months:

Safe Bedding Practices For Infants

Baby in crib

If using a blanket, put baby with feet at the foot of the crib. Tuck a thin blanket around the crib mattress, reaching only as far as the baby's chest.

Place baby on his/her back on a firm tight-fitting mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards.

Remove pillows, quilts, comforters, sheepskins, stuffed toys, and other soft products from the crib.

Consider using a sleeper or other sleep clothing as an alternative to blankets, with no other covering.

Make sure your baby's head remains uncovered during sleep.

Do not place baby on a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress, pillow, or other soft surface to sleep.

Placing babies to sleep on their backs instead of their stomachs has been associated with a dramatic decrease in deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Babies have been found dead on their stomachs with their faces, noses, and mouths covered by soft bedding, such as pillows, quilts, comforters and sheepskins. However, some babies have been found dead with their heads covered by soft bedding even while sleeping on their backs.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Web site:  www.cpsc.gov

1-800- 638-2772

American Academy of Pediatrics
Web site: www.aap.org

National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development
"Back to Sleep" Campaign
1-800-505- CRIB

Report Finds Soft Bedding a Factor in Playpen Deaths
CPSC, Mattel Launch Campaign to Alert Caregivers

July 12, 2001, WASHINGTON, D.C - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) released a report (pdf) today on deaths in playpens. Since 1988, CPSC has reports of more than 200 babies who died while in playpens. In almost 100 of these deaths, soft bedding or improper or extra mattresses were present in the playpen and the babies died of suffocation or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). More than 70 percent of these deaths were to babies less than 12 months old. Twenty-six of the playpen deaths occurred in a daycare setting.

Over the years, playpens, portable cribs and play yards have evolved into virtually identical products. Parents use playpens today as places for babies to both sleep and play. To educate caregivers, CPSC and Mattel, Inc. are launching a "Sleep Safe, Play Safe " campaign to address the two greatest hazards revealed by the study: 1) adding soft bedding and 2) adding extra mattresses or cushions.

For years, CPSC has warned about the dangers of soft bedding such as quilts, comforters and pillows in cribs. Soft bedding can become molded around an infant's face and cause suffocation. As many as one-third of baby deaths attributed to SIDS, in fact, may be suffocation in soft bedding.

"Many parents and caregivers know the dangers of soft bedding in cribs," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "This study shows, for the first time, that the same dangers exist when using pillows, quilts, and comforters in playpens."

The findings emphasize the need for caregivers to be aware that the same safe sleeping guidelines that they follow for their babies' cribs should be followed in these playpens. That means placing baby on his back on a firm, flat mattress and not adding extra mattresses or any soft bedding, such as pillows, quilts, or comforters.

"At Mattel, the well being of children is an inherent part of the reason for our organization to exist and we reflect this in all that we do," said Jim Walter, vice president of corporate product integrity for Mattel. "We are happy to be working with the CPSC on the 'Sleep Safe, Play Safe' campaign."

Today, CPSC, in partnership with Mattel, is kicking off a "Sleep Safe, Play Safe" campaign to educate parents and caregivers about the dangers associated with soft bedding and extra mattresses or cushions in playpens.

The campaign includes a Public Service Announcement (PSA), featuring a lullaby by singer/songwriter Tom Paxton, that will be distributed to 3,400 radio stations nationwide. CPSC will reach out to practicing pediatricians and organizations that are influential in educating parents about ways to keep their infants healthy and safe. Mattel will send more than a million posters and brochures to practicing pediatricians across the country and to organizations who work with or serve parents and childcare providers.

Other hazards identified in the study were playpens that were in poor condition, had broken or protruding hardware or had side rails that collapsed creating an entrapment hazard.

To prevent deaths or injuries to children in playpens, parents and caregivers should take these precautions:
  • Before using a playpen, make sure it has not been recalled. Contact CPSC at 1-800-638-2772 or check the recalls section of CPSC's web site.
  • Always put a baby down to sleep on his back in a playpen or crib with no soft bedding, such as quilts, comforters and pillows. This can help reduce the risk of SIDS and prevent suffocation.
  • Use only the mattress provided by the manufacturer. Do not add additional mattresses in playpens. Children can suffocate in the spaces formed between mattresses or from ill-fitting mattresses.
  • Check that the playpen is in good shape. Using a modified or improperly repaired unit can create hazards.
  • Make sure the top rails of the units lock into place automatically. More than 1 million older playpens with top rails that had to be manually rotated into a locked position have been recalled.
  • Do not use playpens with catch points, such as protruding hardware. More than 9 million older units with protruding hardware have been recalled.
  • If using a mesh-sided playpen, make sure the mesh is less than 1/4 inch in size and that it is attached securely. This will help prevent strangulation.
For more information on playpen safety, visit the publications section (Children's Furniture) of CPSC's web site or call (800) 638-2772. 


The following article was issued in 1998 

Health Canada advises parents and caregivers to verify the safety and security of playpens

Ottawa -
As a precautionary measure, Health Canada today issued an advisory to parents and caregivers regarding playpens. Health Canada is aware of the voluntary recall in the United States of playpens that may pose an entanglement hazard that can lead to strangulation when pacifier strings or loose clothing worn by children become caught on protruding rivets, nuts or bolts on the outer edge of the playpen’s top rails. Health Canada is currently investigating this matter and is contacting the manufacturers involved in the U.S. recall to determine what playpens may be affected in Canada.

This advisory is being issued prior to completion of Health Canada’s investigation to inform Canadians to take the following precautions when using any playpen:

  1. Examine the upper perimeter of your child’s playpen for any possible protrusions, such as metal rivets, plastic knobs, bolts, or other similar small pieces which protrude more than 0.6 centimeters (1/4 inch). If present, discontinue use of the playpen.

  2. Health Canada re-emphasizes to all parents and caregivers to never place, tie or attach cords, strings and/or ropes around the neck of a child.

  3. Parents and caregivers who have additional questions and/or concerns may call Health Canada’s toll free number 1-888-774-1111


The following article was posted to this web site on May, 2000.

Consumer Product Safety Commission

Infants Can Suffocate In Mesh Drop-Sided Playpens
CPSC Document #5058

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns consumers not to leave the drop side of mesh-sided playpens down while children are in them. Playpens used with sides down can present a suffocation hazard to infants. When the drop side is down, the mesh net material forms a loose pocket leaving a gap between the edge of the playpen floor and the mesh side. Infants can easily fall or roll into this pocket. Once an infant's head is entrapped in this pocket, the infant can suffocate.

In recent years, CPSC has investigated an average of about three deaths annually of infants who suffocated between the floor or mattress and mesh side of the playpen.

The CPSC and members of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) developed a warning label that appears on the saddle cover of the top rail around mesh-sided playpens which reads:


NEVER LEAVE an infant in playpen with SIDES DOWN. Infant may roll into space between mattress and loose mesh side, causing suffocation.

This warning label has been placed on mesh-sided playpens with drop sides produced since 1985. A similar warning has appeared on mesh-sided portable cribs with drop sides produced since 1980.

The drop sides of mesh-sided playpens and portable cribs should always be up and locked securely in position whenever a child is in the playpen or crib.

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CPSC urges Consumers to Repair or Replace Old Window Coverings and offers tips on Window Safety

CPSC, Graco Children’s Products Announce New Safety Instructions to Prevent Injuries with Portable Play Yards with Raised Changing Tables

Folding Crib Recall Notice - CPSC, Hufco-Delaware Company and Evenflo Company Inc. Announce Recall to Repair Gerry® and Evenflo® Portable Wood Cribs - Crib Safety Information for Hotels

Sweet Dreams ... Safe Sleep for Babies - CPSC, Industry & Safety Groups Mark Baby Safety Month with Safe Sleep Campaign

Crib Safety News - CPSC, JPMA Launch Campaign About the Hidden Hazards of Placing Babies in Adult Beds

Public Awareness for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome prompts concerns about "Flat head"

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