Excessive pillows linked to crib death Government warns against soft bedding
WASHINGTON — Safety officials announced a recall of 24,000 cribs Thursday and also warned parents against putting their babies to bed with pillows and other soft bedding that could suffocate them.
The 24,000 Indonesian-made cribs were recalled for putting children at risk of falling out. The cribs, imported by Munire Furniture Inc., have improper brackets that don’t allow their mattresses to be fully lowered. This could allow children inside the crib to crawl over the railing and fall.
The recall includes the company’s Majestic Curved Top, Majestic Flat Top, Essex, Brighton/Sussex and Captiva cribs with various model numbers. The cribs were sold at children’s specialty stores between November 2005 and November 2007. No injuries have been reported.
What parents are placing inside their babies’ cribs is another concern, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
From 2002 to 2004, 241 children under age 5 died in incidents involving nursery products, the CPSC said. About 40 percent of the deaths involved cribs, with soft bedding cited as the leading contributing factor. Many of the children suffocated when lying face down on pillows or other bedding, the agency said.
“Less is more when you’re talking about the crib,” CPSC spokeswoman Julie Vallese said, adding that cribs should be free of adult pillows and blankets, stuffed animals and baby quilts.
To reduce risk of suffocation and sudden infant death syndrome, parents should place babies on their back in a crib that meets current safety standards, the agency said.
Among other incidents of death in cribs, babies became trapped when the mattress was ill-fitting, CPSC said. Old, broken and modified cribs should not be used, and parents should never allow a gap larger than two fingers at any point between the sides of the crib and mattress, the agency advised.
The agency said there were 36 deaths over the same period relating to baby baths and bath seats. All occurred when caregivers left the baby unattended. In many instances, babies slipped out of bath seats, fell out of baby seats or tipped forward or sideways into the water.
At no time, even for a few seconds, should babies be left unattended in the tub, Vallese said.
Deaths involving playpens also were high, with many resulting from the use of soft bedding.
Although CPSC has in recent years issued many crib product recalls, Vallese said there were no related deaths during 2002 through 2004 that involved a recalled product or a product that eventually was recalled.
In 2006, the most recent year in which injury data was collected, CPSC counted about 66,400 emergency injuries linked with nursery products among children under age 5. Infant carriers and cars seats, excluding motor vehicle accidents, accounted for 14,200 injuries and cribs and mattresses 11,300.
The most common injuries in 2006 resulted from falls, and the head was the most frequently injured body part.