OnSafety is the Official Blog Site of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here you'll find the latest safety information as well as important messages that will keep you and your family safe. We hope you'll visit often!

Welcome!

Baby Monitor Cords Have Strangled Children

What’s wrong with this picture?

Baby in a crib with a video monitor cord next to the crib

Do you see that video baby monitor cord? Yes, the one the baby has in his hand.

Cords close to your baby’s crib are not safe.

Yes, it’s tempting. Parents reviewing video monitors online report placing monitors at the edge of the crib to get a close-up image of their child sleeping: Read some examples:

“We didn’t want to put a perminant (sic) screw into the edge of the crib, so I have the base of the camera attached to the end of the crib with clear tape, which works well enough for now I guess.”

“Our baby monitor … broke when our little one managed to knock it over off his crib.”

“For watching your child close up (e.g. to see if he/she’s breathing or not) you do need to be pretty close to him/her (we just have it at the edge of the crib)….”

Do NOT place corded video cameras or audio or movement monitor receivers in cribs or on crib rails. Infants have strangled and died after becoming tangled in cords, like this:

Baby strangles in a video monitor cord

CPSC knows of 7 deaths and 3 near strangulations since 2002 involving baby monitors. These include video, audio and movement monitors. In addition, CPSC has received reports of at least a dozen other incidents in which babies and young children accessed monitors or monitor cords – that were either in the crib or close enough to the crib for a young child to grab.

Some monitors have permanent warning labels on the product or cord. Others, like some Summer Infant corded video baby monitors, do not have a prominent warning label on the camera or the cord.

Always keep ALL cords and monitor parts out of the reach of babies and young children. Think about 3 feet from any side of the crib –- top, bottom and all four sides.

When buying a video monitor, look for one that takes the picture from far away. The further away the camera and its cord are from your baby or toddler, the safer your child will be. If you use a movement monitor, make sure the cords are taut and not dangling to reduce the strangulation risk. The manufacturers’ instructions show parents how to handle the cords.

CPSC urges parents and caregivers to immediately check the location of your baby monitors, including those mounted on the wall, to make sure that the electrical cords are out of the child’s reach. Check that location periodically to make sure the cords stay out of reach as your child grows.

Video:

To watch this video in Adobe Flash format, you may need to download the Adobe Flash player. You can also watch the video in Windows Media format.

(Read the transcript, or watch in Windows Media format.)

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/02/baby-monitor-cords-have-strangled-children/

Crib Immobilizers: Who to Call

New crib requirements passed by CPSC will stop traditional drop-side cribs from being made and sold within the next six months. The new crib requirements are among the most stringent in the world.

Those of you who already own cribs that do not meet the requirements of this new rule — especially drop-side cribs — need to know what to do with your cribs or the cribs that you need to buy in the next six months.

First, it’s important to remember that a non-recalled, sturdy crib is the SAFEST place for your baby to sleep. Second, if you own a drop-side crib regularly check your crib for safety

While CPSC staff cannot say that every drop-side crib is hazardous, based on investigations of incidents we have received, agency staff believes that most drop-side cribs are more prone to mechanical failure than similarly designed fixed-side cribs.

Some drop-side crib manufacturers have immobilizers that fit their cribs. Drop-side crib immobilizers are devices that are used to secure drop sides to prevent dangerous situations in which the drop side either partially or fully detaches from the crib.

As part of a recall, CPSC staff works with companies to provide fixes, or remedies, for products. For drop-side cribs, that remedy has been immobilizers.

Here’s a list of companies that have recalled their cribs and are providing immobilizers to secure the drop side on the cribs. These immobilizers were evaluated and approved by CPSC staff for use with these particular drop-side cribs.

If your drop-side crib manufacturer is not on this list, call the manufacturer and ask if they are making an immobilizer for your crib. Remember, though, that those particular immobilizers have not been tested or evaluated by CPSC staff for use with your specific crib.

Manufacturer Toll-Free Phone Number Website
Angel Line Longwood Forest (800) 889-8158 anytime www.angelline.com or e-mail the firm at parts@angelline.com
C&T International/Sorelle and Golden Baby (877) 791-9398 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.candtinternational.net
Delta Enterprise Corp. (877) 342-3418 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.cribrecallcenter.com
Dorel Asia (866) 762-2304 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.dorel-asia.com
Ethan Allen (888) 339-9398 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.ethanallen.com
Evenflo (800) 356-2229 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday http://safety.evenflo.com
Jardine (800) 295-1980 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET  Monday through Friday www.jdservice.biz
LaJobi (Bonavita, Babi Italia and ISSI drop-side models) (888) 738-5676 anytime www.lajobi.com
LaJobi-manufactured Graco® wood cribs (888) 842-2215 anytime www.LaJobi.com
Kmart Heritage Collection 3-in-1 drop-side cribs (866) 499-2099 between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.victorylandgroup.com
Million Dollar Baby (888) 673-6488 anytime www.themdbfamily.com/safety
Simmons (877) 342-3439 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday www.cribrecallcenter.com
Stork Craft and Stork Craft cribs with a Fisher-Price logo (877) 274-0277 anytime www.storkcraft.com

The following crib manufacturers have recalled cribs for which immobilizers are not available. In some cases, there may be other remedies or recommendations of what to do with your crib.

Manufacturer Contact Information if Available What You Do
Childcraft This company is out of business.Contact Foundations Worldwide (the new owner of the brand name) toll-free at (866) 614-0557 anytime or visit the firm’s website at www.cribsafetyinfo.com Foundations has agreed to provide Child Craft drop-side crib owners with a rebate towards the purchase of a new, fixed-side Child Craft brand crib manufactured by Foundations Worldwide Inc.
Generation 2 Worldwide and “ChildESIGNS” drop-side cribs Brands This company is out of business Stop using this crib and do not pass it on. Contact the store from which you purchased the crib (retail stores include Buy Buy Baby, Kmart and Walmart) for remedy information. Remedies vary by store between a refund, replacement crib or store credit.
Generation 2 Worldwide and “SafetyCraft” brand full-size and portable drop-side cribs This company is out of business Stop using this crib and do not pass it on. This warning involves all SafetyCraft drop-side cribs, including model 92-8112, manufactured and/or sold by Generation 2Worldwide.
Land of Nod “Rosebud” cribs manufactured by Status Furniture Contact The Land of Nod at (800) 933-9904 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or email at recall@landofnod.com, or visit the firm’s website at www.landofnod.com Contact The Land of Nod to receive instructions on how to receive a merchandise credit for the full purchase price of the crib ($599). The Land of Nod is undertaking this recall for its customers because Status Furniture is out of business.
Simplicity Simplicity Inc. and SFCA Inc., the Reading, Pa.-based company that purchased Simplicity’s assets, are no longer in business. Look for your model and the remedy on this chart: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09260list.html
Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/12/crib-immobilizers-who-to-call/

A Safe Babywearing Experience

For many parents, babywearing promotes a positive bond between parent and child.

The key for any mom, dad, or caregiver who wears their baby is education. In the first few months of life, babies cannot control their heads because of weak neck muscles. We at CPSC want babywearers caring for infants younger than 4 months old to keep this in mind.

Babywearers should place their baby’s face at or above the rim of a sling or wrap so that their face is visible.

When babies are placed with their faces below the rim of a sling, they are not able to lift their heads to breathe. This can lead to the following two hazardous situations:

  • One risk occurs when a baby’s head is turned toward the adult. An infant’s nose and mouth can be pressed against the baby wearer and become blocked, preventing the baby from breathing. Suffocation can happen quickly, within a minute or two.
  • When a baby lies in a sling, the fabric can push the baby’s head forward to its chest. Infants can’t lift their heads and free themselves to breathe. This curled, chin-to-chest position can partially restrict a baby’s airways, causing a baby to lose consciousness. The baby cannot cry out for help.

In addition, CPSC urges parents of infants younger than four months of age, premature or low birth-weight babies and babies with colds and respiratory problems to use extra caution and consult their pediatricians about using slings.

All of this information is consistent with what CPSC shared with parents in March. So, why raise this again?

Every day, new babies are born and new moms, dads, and caregivers may not be aware of the safety information we’ve given before. We want all new moms and dads who choose to wear their babies to know how to keep their babies safe.

Child safety experts at CPSC have looked at incidents and sadly found 14 reports of infants who suffocated and died in sling-style carriers during the past 20 years. To prevent any more deaths, CPSC staff urges parents to use extra caution with infants younger than 4 months old, premature, low birth-weight babies, and babies with colds and respiratory problems when using infant slings.

This warning is not intended to characterize all slings as being dangerous to babies. CPSC has identified (1) specific situations that can pose a risk of serious harm to babies, and (2) simple safety tips that we hope the babywearing community can share with new parents so that they have a safe, heart-to-heart bond while using an infant sling.

CPSC stands for safety, especially the safety of babies.

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/11/a-safe-babywearing-experience/

Sleep Positioners: A Suffocation Risk

CPSC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning parents and caregivers to stop using sleep positioners. Over the past 13 years CPSC and FDA have received 12 reports of infants between the ages of 1 month and 4 months who have died when they suffocated in these positioners or when they became trapped between a sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet. CPSC has received dozens of reports of infants who were placed on their backs or sides in sleep positioners, only to be found later in potentially hazardous positions within or next to the sleep positioners.

The safest crib is one with only a mattress and a tight-fitting sheet. Parents should stop using sleep positioners or ANY device to hold an infant on his or her back or side for sleep. These are unnecessary and can pose a suffocation risk to your baby.

For the safest sleep environment possible, place babies on their backs. Don’t put babies to sleep on top of pillows, comforters or thick quilts. And don’t place these items, or large stuffed toys, in your baby’s crib, bassinet or play yard.

An announcement such as this one is sure to raise some questions. Here are some answers.

What is a sleep positioner?

A sleep positioner is a product that is used to keep babies on their backs while sleeping. Some are flat mats with side bolsters, and others are inclined (wedge) mats with side bolsters. Both types of sleep positioners claim to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) by keeping babies on their backs, help with food digestion and reflux, ease colic, and prevent flat head syndrome.

Are the medical claims associated with these products true?

The FDA and CPSC staffs have stated that there is currently no scientific evidence supporting these medical claims. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) already tells parents to avoid “commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.”

How are sleep positioners dangerous?

sleep positioner

A baby's face can get trapped against the bolster of a sleep positioner causing the baby to suffocate.

Both types of sleep positioners present problems. If children are placed on their sides or stomachs on a flat sleep positioner, the babies’ faces can get trapped against the bolster causing babies to suffocate. Babies placed on their sides with the bolster at their backs can easily roll onto their stomachs with their faces pressed into the product, blocking their breathing.

Babies placed on inclined sleep positioners can scoot around and end up with their heads hanging over the high edge of the positioners. This can cut off babies’ ability to breathe. In addition, babies can easily roll from their sides to stomachs or scoot themselves downward with their faces pressed against a bolster in these positioners. If bolsters come loose, babies can become trapped between the sleep positioner and the side of a crib or bassinet.

In some inclined sleep positioners, babies have flipped off the positioner, ending up with the positioner landing on top of them. Each of these scenarios puts babies at risk of suffocation.

How do I make sure my baby stays on his back while sleeping?

Simply place your baby on his or her back in the crib. Once your baby rolls over onto his or her tummy, it’s okay to leave your baby there. Babies who can flip over can also turn their heads, a key developmental milestone that reduces the risk of suffocation. If your baby flips over while in a sleep positioner, however, he or she can have a hard time freeing his or her face from the device.

My baby has reflux and my sleep positioner helps. Do I really need to stop using it?
Yes, you should stop using these devices. FDA has no scientific proof that infant sleep positioners help to prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Talk with your pediatrician about safe sleep alternatives for your baby.

12 deaths in 13 years? Is this really a serious hazard?

The potential risk of suffocation and death is serious and preventable. CPSC and FDA believe there is no reason to introduce a risk into your baby’s crib, especially given the fact that there are no scientifically proven benefits of using sleep positioners.

Usually, you recall products that are unsafe. Why aren’t you recalling specific sleep positioners?

Because of the medical claims made with sleep positioners, they fall primarily under FDA’s jurisdiction, rather than CPSC’s. FDA is telling manufacturers of sleep positioners to submit scientific data to support their medical claims. Any manufacturer who makes a medical claim about a sleep positioner and who has not received FDA clearance must immediately stop marketing their products. Such devices are illegal and subject to FDA regulatory action.

If you have other questions, e-mail them to feedback@cpsc.gov.


(Watch in Windows Media format) (Transcript)

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/09/sleep-positioners-a-suffocation-risk/

Watch and Share: Check Your Crib for Safety

The drumbeat on drop-side cribs is continuing with the recall announcement today of more than 2 million more cribs. These cribs and the others that have already been recalled may well be in your house. They are made by Childcraft, Delta, Evenflo, Jardine, LaJobi, Million Dollar Baby, and Simmons.

There have been far too many tragedies involving babies and toddlers resulting from dangerous cribs. In the last five years, CPSC has announced 18 recalls involving more than 9 million drop-side cribs. The agency’s staff is actively investigating various crib manufacturers as part of a large, ongoing effort to remove unsafe cribs from the marketplace and your homes.

For many parents, the question is what to do with cribs in use right now. First and foremost after making sure that your crib hasn’t been recalled: Check your crib.

If you’re not quite sure what that means, this video is for you. Watch it, share it and take the advice of CPSC juvenile products engineer Patty Edwards. She is a premier expert on cribs and other nursery products.

(Read the transcript or watch in Windows Media format, or on CPSC’s YouTube Channel.)

If you’ve still got questions, here are a few that CPSC has received, along with answers:

Q: CPSC’s drop-side crib information makes me nervous about owning a drop-side crib, but I can’t afford a new crib. What should I do?

A: Check your crib as shown in the video. If your crib has loose sides or missing or broken pieces that you can’t easily tighten, then move your child to a different safe sleeping place. Depending on the child’s age, this can be a bassinet, a play yard or a toddler bed – so long as that product hasn’t been recalled as well.

Should I get an immobilizer for my crib, even if it hasn’t been recalled? Where do I get them?

An immobilizer stops the drop side from moving outwards as well as up and down. This prevents a baby from getting stuck between the drop side and the rest of the crib. You should get and use an immobilizer for your drop-side crib if it is available. Different cribs need different immobilizers. Contact your manufacturer to see if the company is offering or planning to offer an immobilizer for your crib.

Immobilizers should only be used on cribs that do not have broken or missing hardware. An immobilizer will not make broken cribs safe. An immobilizer will prevent future breakage and protect hardware.

In addition, immobilizers are meant to be used on newer cribs, not cribs that are older than 10 years.

The immobilizer fix kit on my recalled crib forced the drop side to become stationary. I’m short and can’t reach my baby. What can I do?

CPSC’s staff understands how difficult it can be for some moms to use a tall fixed-side crib. Some of us are short moms, too. Convenience, though, is a different question than safety. We at CPSC aim to provide you with the best information available to us to keep your baby safe.

Some manufacturers make cribs with drop-gates rather than drop sides and cribs that are lower to the ground.

If you’re short and are finding your newly fixed-side crib difficult to use, look for a safe solution to reach down to your baby. One solution could be a wide, sturdy step stool, such as the steps used in step aerobics.

I’m using a second-hand drop-side crib. Is this safe for my baby?

Age is a factor in the safety of any drop-side crib. At a minimum, CPSC staff recommends that you not use a crib that’s older than 10 years. Many older cribs may not meet current voluntary standards and can have numerous safety problems.

The more use a particular crib experiences over time, the more that crib will sustain wear and tear on hardware and joints, allowing screws to loosen and fall out and plastic parts to flex and break. Repeated assembly and disassembly increases the likelihood that crib parts can be damaged or lost. In addition, wood warps and shrinks over time, and glue can become brittle. This can lead to joint and slat failures.

Be sure to check your crib regularly and stop using it if you are at all uncertain about its safety.

Do you have other questions? E-mail them to feedback@cpsc.gov.

Bookmark and Share

This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/06/watch-and-share-check-your-crib-for-safety/