A new study to be published in the highly respected medical journal, Pediatrics, reports that crib-related accidents send 26 children to U.S. emergency rooms everyday and result in more than 110 deaths annually. The vast majority of these injuries and fatalities are the result of children falling out of their cribs.
Crib-related injuries to a child’s neck, face, and head are common. One of the study’s authors explained that because infants and toddlers are “top heavy,” they can tip out of cribs easily. After kids fall out of a bassinet or crib, “they don’t have the ability to break their fall with their arms, so they always fall head first.”
According to the Associated Press, about 94 percent of children who went to the emergency room for crib-related injuries during the study period were treated and then released. But sadly, over a 19 year time span, approximately 2,140 children died as a result of crib-related injuries.
Florida parents are rightly alarmed by the findings of this study. Hundreds of thousands of children in the state sleep in cribs that may present an unacceptable risk of child injury. Thankfully, the study gives parents some advice to follow on the topic of crib safety.
First, parents should always purchase a new crib that meets all of the current crib safety standards. Old, broken, or modified cribs are rarely the safest option. Next, parents should avoid cribs with decorative corner posts, cutouts, slats that are more than 2 3/8 inches apart, or knobs that protrude more than 1/16th of an inch. Last, parents should frequently visit www.recalls.gov to make sure that their child’s crib was not recalled.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hopes that crib-related injuries will dramatically decrease after its new safety standards go into effect. In December 2010, the CPSC promulgated its first new mandatory crib safety standards in thirty years. According to the CPSC, the new safety standards promise to “(1) stop the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs; (2) make mattress supports stronger; (3) make crib hardware more durable; and (4) make safety testing more rigorous.”
All cribs manufactured, sold, or leased in the United States after June 2011 must comply with the new CPSC federal safety standards. Before January 2013 all “places of public accommodation,” including child-care facilities, Head Start centers, hotels and motels, must have safety compliant cribs in their facilities.
If your child was injured in a crib-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation related to the injury. Call the Florida personal injury attorneys at Anidjar & Levine today to arrange a free initial consultation. Our Fort Lauderdale offices can be reached at (800) 747-3733.