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Dangerous Cribs Cause Injuries And Death For Infants And Toddlers

A 19-year study released in February found that more than 9,500 infants and toddlers are injured by cribs, bassinets and playpens each year. It’s likely that this number is actually quite higher because the study only evaluated the number of children treated for crib injuries in the emergency room, not children who go to their pediatrician or other urgent care doctors.

Based on the study’s results, approximately 113 infants are killed by cribs each year. That amounts to 1.2 percent of all children who are injured in crib accidents. Another 4 percent are seriously injured and require hospitalization.

There are many reasons that infants and toddlers are prone to crib injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled many defective cribs that have directly caused serious and fatal suffocation. Last year the CPSC banned drop-side cribs, a dangerous crib with sides that slide down, causing many children to be caught between the side and the crib bottom.

Since 2007, more than 11 million cribs have been recalled as a result of safety deficiencies. If a defective or dangerous crib causes a child’s injury, there may be recourse against the crib manufacturer for the harm caused in a product liability suit.

Children are also likely to be injured in falls from the crib. The study reports that two out of every three injuries is caused by a fall from the crib. Unsupervised toddlers are likely to attempt to climb out of the crib without help and they may fall out. Injuries related to a crib fall include broken bones, head injuries and spine injuries.

As a result of the high number of crib injuries and fatalities, there is a push to force manufacturers to alter the design of cribs all together. New mandatory crib standards implemented by the CPSC last December will help to improve the safety of cribs but more needs to be done to prevent these serious and preventable crib injuries.

Source: USA Today (online) “Nearly 10,000 Infants Hurt Each Year in Crib Accidents,” Liz Szabo, 2/16/2011