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INDIANAPOLIS — If you buy a shiny, new crib from a store, you know it’ll pass the test. But if you’re trying save a buck, or you simply want to go vintage, it can be a slippery slope.
“We’re talking extremely dangerous,” said Dr. Eric A. Yancy, pediatrician and chief medical officer of MHS Indiana.
Yancy says that’s because only cribs made after mid-2011 are up to code. So if you hit up a garage sale, it’s a risk.
“And it’s not that they’re trying to do anything bad, they just don’t know it was great-grandma’s crib or whatever,” said Yancy. “It’s decorative and some people buy them so that’s when you’ve actually got to be very cautious.”
There are a few easy ways to tell if a crib is suitable for your baby’s sleep time.
Drop-side cribs are a big no, and it’s the same story for cutouts on the headboard.
“You have the moon and the stars and cutouts there, but children can either get extremities entrapped in those, and some of those are big enough they can actually get heads entrapped in those.”
Be sure to check the width between the slats. It can’t exceed six centimeters. Testing them is easier than you might think.
Six centimeters will not allow a pop can to go through the slats.
Yancy says, “If you can ‘can’ it, ban it.”
And remember, your crib should have a firm mattress and absolutely nothing else.
“No blankets, no stuffed animals, no toys. To keep the child warm, put the pajama suit on and hat, but you can’t have all the things in the crib because that will be a problem.”
If you go with a really old piece, make sure it’s not lead paint.
Yancy says if you follow these rules, that older crib you have your eye on might just pass the test.
Yancy is trying to collect 1,000 safe cribs for families in Indianapolis who need them. If you’d like to donate, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.