Safety Tips on Baby Cots
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Safety Tips on Baby Cots
Babies spend a lot of time in cots and parents should look out for safety features when buying cots for your child. Neglecting safety considerations or inappropriate use can have severe consequences.
Always follow the instructions provided in the manual and pay attention to warnings that will help prevent injuries.
- Check the stability of the baby cot in the shop before purchase and make sure it is stable. For example, apply a little pressure on the cot and assess if it is sturdy.
- When buying a cot, opt for one with a wide, sturdy and stable base and ensure that there are no loose parts. Always check for the stability of the cot before purchase or after you have put it together at home. If it wobbles or rattles, it may have been put together improperly.
- Ensure that there are no spaces between the sides of mattress and cot walls. This is to prevent baby from being trapped between the mattress and cot.
- Proper assembly of the cot is of utmost importance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and make sure all the parts are put together correctly. If in doubt, consult the supplier.
- Adhere to the product information on the maximum size and weight of babies suitable for the product to be used safely.
- Ensure that the cot has no broken, loose, missing or improperly installed brackets, screws or slats. Slats should be secure and spaced no more than 4.5 to 6 cm apart. This is to avoid your baby’s head slipping through and getting trapped.
- For swinging cradles, ensure that locking mechanisms or devices are in place. Ensure that the lock is activated once the baby has fallen asleep.
- Check the mattress support often to ensure that it has not come off the end panels.
- Use a firm, snugly fitting mattress to prevent baby from being trapped between the mattress and crib. Cot sheets should fit well, and wrap around the mattress corners.
- Bumper pads are padded pieces placed alongside of cribs to protect baby limbs from slipping through the gaps found on side of cots. Use cot bumper pads cautiously as they could pose a risk of suffocation. It may also cause a lack of proper ventilation if not properly installed/placed. Ensure that there is proper air ventilation and regularly check on your baby.
- Do not place stuffed toys or extra pillows/cushions in the crib to reduce the risk of your baby suffocating or using them as a foothold to climb out of the crib.
Remove all toys strung across the cot/playpen when your baby is able to stand to avoid being caught in them. Photo by babycenter. Make sure your baby’s cot is free from items that may
- If your cot has a drop-side, inspect the mechanism regularly to ensure the joints are securely fastened.
- Make sure the cot has no raised corner posts or cut-outs as your baby’s clothing could get caught on them, posing a strangulation risk.
- Regularly check that nuts and bolts are tight, as per the maintenance instructions supplied with the cot.
- Put the drop side up when your baby is sleeping to prevent falls.
- Never place a cot near a window with blinds, curtain cords, baby monitor cords, or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords. Babies are at risk of strangling by the cords and older babies could pull themselves up and fall through the window.
- Never put your baby on sofa cushions, adult beds or pillows or any surface not designed for infant sleep.
Click here to download our brochure on baby cot safety