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New Bassinet and Crib Standards to Prevent Child Injury in NC

Officials with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently approved new safety standards for bassinets and cradles. These new standards are going to be used to help to prevent injuries and death that can result from poorly designed or utilized consumer products.

From 2007 to 2012, there were close to 150 children who were killed in faulty cradles and bassinets. The CPSC is aware of more than 450 reported incidents during the studied time period.

Our child injury attorneys in North Carolina understand that, small, cozy, and portable, a bassinet might seem like the perfect place to put your baby. But regardless of how cute, your bassinet won’t get that much use since babies outgrow them by about 4 months of age. In addition, a crib is the safest place for a baby to sleep.

But if you’re going to use a bassinet, doing so correctly is vital to keeping your infant safe.

The new standards will provide a clarification on the scope of the cradle/bassinet regulations. There are also required changes to the pass/pail criteria for the test on mattress flatness and an exemption from the mattress flatness requirement for bassinets that are less than 15 inches across. There will be an addition of a removable bassinet bed stability requirement. Lastly, there will be alterations to the stability test procedure. Now, officials with be required to use a newborn CAMI dummy instead of an infant CAMI dummy.

The new standard will be effective six months after a final rule is published in the Federal Register. Manufacturers will be allowed an additional 12 months to comply with the provision for removable bassinet beds.

In 2011, Pediatrics published a study about injuries involving bassinets, playpens, and cribs in the US. The study found that from 1990 to 2008, 181,654 kids under the age of two were treated in ERs for such injuries. The most common cause of these injuries were fall accidents, which have led to head trauma and bone fractures.

If you decide to buy or use a bassinet or cradle, you can’t be too careful.

Here’s what the CPSC advises you to look for in bassinets:

-A sturdy bottom with a wide base.

-Bassinets should have smooth surfaces.

-No hardware should be sticking out of bassinets.

-Mattresses need to be firm and fit tightly.

-Check screws and bolts periodically to ensure they are tight.

-Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on the appropriate weight and size of babies who
can safely use the bassinet.

Say no to an heirloom cradle or bassinet. It’s a quaint idea to use one that’s been in the family for generations, but chances are it isn’t up to today’s safety standards. Some possible hazards are an overly thick mattress or puffy sides, both suffocation risks, and legs with an old-style latching mechanism that can unexpectedly release.

Your baby will probably outgrow the bassinet or cradle by 4 to 5 months old. To get the most for your money, try a play yard with a removable bassinet and get two useful baby products in one.

If you or your child has been involved in an accident, contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.

More Blog Entries:

Carolina Dog Bites Have Authorities Urging Caution & Common Sense, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 11, 2012
Child Safety and NC School Bus Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 2, 2012

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