When most parents think about putting their baby or young child in a crib or playpen thoughts of danger or accident probably do not immediately rush to their minds. Generally, cribs and playpens are thought of as safety zones that separate the child from the dangers of the outside world. However, a new study demonstrates that all cribs and playpens are not as safe as parents may think. According to a recent study and the first study of its kind, around 10,000 babies and toddlers are injured in crib accidents every year.
Safety advocates say the research was released in time to be discussed during a Congressional subcommittee hearing where cribs and products liability will likely be discussed. The subcommittee hearing will listen to testimony from safety advocates who support a crib regulations law passed in 2008 and from industry folks who are expected to advocate for a reform of the 2008 law. The regulation outlaws the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs. The traditional style of crib has a side rail that moves up and down that makes it easier to place and remove infants. According to reports, the movable rail can partially detach. The partially detached rail creates a space between the mattress and rail where babies can become trapped.
The study looked at nearly 20 years of emergency room data and found that children ages 1 to 2 were most likely to get hurt in cribs and playpens because of their ability to climb out of the spaces. The study calculated that 181,654 infants were injured between the 1990 and 2008. Fortunately, most children were not hospitalized but the study still demonstrates a need for products liability improvement regarding cribs and playpens.