Crib Safety Caution (aired 5/15/04)

You may be shocked to learn that a crib can cost more than three thousand dollars. And it turns out a hefty price tag doesn't mean it's any safer for your baby. That's the word from Consumer Reports, who just evaluated more than a dozen.

Amy Delaney's son Charles is just eight weeks old. She's using the crib she bought for her daughter Abigail.

"There’s no crazy frilly things. It was natural, you know boy/girl — so we just decided to stick with it."

Reusing Abigail's crib is a safe choice because it's only two years old.
Sandra Gordon, author of the new Consumer Reports' Best Baby Products, says if your old crib was made before 1999, it's not safe.

"Newer is really better because crib safety standards are improving all the time."

Consumer Reports just tested 13 cribs. Prices range from about one hundred dollars to more than 500. It turns out simpler designs are the safest.

"Fancy decorations can catch a child's clothing at the neck and that's a potential strangulation hazard."

"A necklace or loose clothing on a child could get caught on this protrusion."

Along with safety, testers checked to see how easy the cribs are to use. Some have sides that don't drop down. If you're short, it could be hard to lift your baby in and out. Cribs that let you lower one or both of the sides can make it easier.

When all the tests were done, Consumer Reports found you don't have to pay a lot to get a really good crib that's safe for your baby. The Delta Luv Jenny Lind model number 4750-1 is easy to assemble, and at just 110 dollars, it's a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

Consumer Reports says a crib is one item you should never buy secondhand. If you have a crib from one of your older children, it's safe to reuse only if it was made after June of 1999. That's when voluntary safety standards changed significantly. If you are reusing a crib, always check it over and tighten any loose parts.

The latest edition of the Consumer Reports Best Baby Products will be going on sale in bookstores on Monday, April 12th. It's an A to Z guide on everything you need for your baby with important safety advice and money-saving tips.

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