Monday, March 9, 2015

Falls from Cribs Injure Dozens Per Day

crib falls
Every parent dreads the day when their toddler finally learns how to climb out of the crib. There's no avoiding it because every toddler learns how to escape sooner or later. When toddlers learn how to find their freedom from their crib, it means chasing the child down night after night and bedtime becomes much harder as try to keep your toddler in bed.

For me, as soon as my children became little escape artists, I took that as a sign it was time to ditch the crib. I just couldn't sleep at night worrying about them falling and injuring their self. My paranoia isn't unjustified either because dozens of toddlers under the age of two are injured every day from crib-related falls.

Time to Ditch the Crib
It's nearly impossible to stop your toddler from climbing out of their crib. The more mobile they become, the sooner they will learn how to escape from their crib. It's unrealistic to watch your child in their crib every second, and sadly, this is when the most crib injuries occur. In fact, 9 out of 10 falls occur while toddlers are left unsupervised. And, of the injuries from the falls, most occur to the head and neck, which can be life threatening.

Crib Fall Injuries
Recently, a study published in the Journal Pediatrics found there were 181,654 crib fall related injuries from playpens, bassinets, and cribs between 1990 and 2008. Sadly, of these children, 2,140 cases ended up fatal, most often the result of the child becoming caught or wedged in the crib. Due to these alarming numbers, there are new mandatory safety standards for cribs, which include the ban of drop-side railings.

Crib fall injuries occur very quickly and usually when the you least expect it. Toddlers learn how to climb out of their crib in the blink of an eye. One day they may only be standing at the rail and the next day they may have mastered escaping. It's essential preventative steps are taken to reduce the risk of your child climbing out of the crib and lessening the severity of injuries that can occur should they fall.

Fall Prevention
To reduce the chance your toddler will be able to climb out of their crib, make sure the mattress is adjusted to the lowest level as soon as the child is able to stand up.

Keep the crib away from dressers and other furniture that can be used as a step to aid the child in climbing.

Keep all toy boxes, toys and any other object away from the crib.

The area surrounding the crib should be open in case the child does climb over the rail and fall, they won't fall on anything, reducing the risk for serious injuries.We also put foam mats around the crib for a little more cushioning in case they fall.

When you're toddler starts climbing out of their crib, it's nerve wracking. And, since every child is different, you never really know when to expect them to make their first escape. But, you need to be ready. The last thing you want is to be sitting in the ER, which is why we move to a toddler bed as soon as they start climbing.

Have you had an experience with a crib-related injury? What age did your children start escaping?

References:
"Childhood: Falls From Cribs Injure Dozens a Day" NYTimes
"Injuries Associated with Cribs" Pediatrics

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