Crib Safety Tips for Parents and Caregivers
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The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a crib that meets Canada's current safety regulations.
Your baby can use a crib until there is a possibility that the baby could climb out on their own or when they are taller than 90 cm (35 in).When the baby reaches one of these milestones, you should switch to a toddler or standard bed.
Do not use a crib manufactured before September 1986, as it does not meet current performance requirements. Babies have been seriously injured, even fatally, when placed in a crib made before this date.
Health Canada does not recommend using cribs that are older than 10 years as they are more likely to have broken, worn, loose or missing parts, and be missing warnings and instructions.
- Look for a label on the crib that shows the date it was made. If it does not have a label, do not buy the crib.
- Make sure the crib has not been recalled before using it. Check with the manufacturer and with Health Canada.
- Check the crib regularly to make sure the frame is solid and that there are no loose or missing parts. Tighten loose screws regularly.
- Only use parts obtained from the original manufacturer for repairs or recall fixes.
- Do not modify a crib in anyway.
- Do not use a crib that cannot be assembled properly according to the manufacturer's instructions or if there are missing parts.
- Make sure the mattress is tight against all sides of the crib and does not leave a gap wider than 3 cm (1 3/16 in) when pushed firmly to any side of the crib.
- Replace the mattress if it is not firm or if it is worn out.
- Move the mattress support down to its lowest position as soon as the baby can push up on hands and knees.
- Always place a baby to sleep on his or her back.
- Never strap or tie a baby into the crib.
- Do not put a necklace or a pacifier attached to a cord around a baby's neck, as these can pose strangulation hazards.
- Place the crib away from windows, patio doors, curtains, blind cords, lamps, electrical plugs and electrical cords.
- Avoid the use of soft objects, such as pillows, plush toys, sleep positioners, comforters, thick blankets, bumper pads, lambskins or similar items as they can pose a suffocation risk.
- Always supervise babies when they are playing with toys or using bottles.
- Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada recommend that the crib be placed in the caregiver's room, near the adult's bed, for the first 6 months, as this practice is associated with a reduced risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- If you are using a drop-side crib, always ensure that the sides are raised and locked into place after putting the baby in the crib. Check the drop-side hardware carefully on a regular basis.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, contact Health Canada's Consumer Product Safety Directorate at 1-866-662-0666 or CPS-SPC@hc-sc.gc.ca