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May 24, 2022

Agency spreads crib safety word

Officials warn old furniture falls short on safety
The local health department has been doing outreach on crib
safety in light of new standards that bar people from selling or
donating old furniture that falls short of meeting the rules.
Officials warn old furniture falls short on safety

The local health department has been doing outreach on crib safety in light of new standards that bar people from selling or donating old furniture that falls short of meeting the rules.

This past summer, public health officials made regular appearances at the Downtown Farmers Market – and have been educating locals at stores, doctors’ offices, the hospital and emergency medical services – about the new standards.

Until recently, the federal crib standards had not been updated for nearly 30 years.

The new requirements halt the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-off cribs; strengthen mattress supports; improve slat strength; make crib hardware more durable; and make safety testing more rigorous, according to the San Benito County Health & Human Services Agency.

Fatalities from unsafe cribs have increased in recent years, said Catherine Farnham, a county public health nurse who has coordinated the outreach. It is one cause of infant death syndrome.

Although there are many causes people can’t prevent, such as genetic, they can affect the rate of deaths caused by cribs, she said.

She wants to further educate the community about the guidelines, especially the provision disallowing their transfer at garage sales, or among friends and family.

Farnham cautioned it could lead to a tragedy.

“Wouldn’t any of us feel horrible?” she said about the people who hand them over.

She described the unsafe cribs as those many of those that are drop-sided or those with bumpers.

She did mention, though, that is remains legal to use the cribs in question if they already were purchased.

Baby sleeping tips:

– Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep.

– Place your baby on a firm sleep surface.

– Keep soft objects, toys and loose beding out of your baby’s sleep area.

– Do not allow smoking around your baby.

– Keep your baby’s sleep area close to, but separate from, where you and others sleep.

– Think about using a clean, dry pacifier when placing the infant down to sleep.

– Do not let your baby overheat during sleep.

– Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS.

– Do not use home monitors to reduce risk of SIDS.

– Reduce the chance that flat spots will develop on your baby’s head.

Source: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

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