As a child care center owner or manager, part of your job is to reassure parents that their children are safe in your care. One component of this is making sure that your child care cribs are safe for children to use. Follow this checklist when you inspect your child care cribs.
1. Crib slat width: The space between crib slats must be no greater than 2 3/8 inches apart. This prevents infants from getting their head stuck between the slats.
2. Crib slat integrity: To avoid injury, ensure that there are no slats are missing, loose or cracked.
3. Mattress quality: Child care cribs must have mattresses that fit snugly within the crib. No more than two finger-widths should remain between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. In addition, mattress support should be securely attached to the headboard and footboard.
4. Crib top rails: The top rails of crib sides, in their raised position, should be at least 26 inches above the top of the mattress support at its lowest position.
5. Hardware: Check your child care cribs to make sure that there aren’t any missing, loose, broken, or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
6. Headboard and footboard: No cutouts should be in the headboard or footboard to ensure a baby’s head can’t get trapped.
7. Corner posts: Corner posts of your child care cribs should be no higher than 1/16 inch so that a baby’s clothes can’t catch.
8. Remove all toys: When the child is sleeping, make sure to remove all crib toys, which includes any mobiles that the baby could grab.
9. Crib placement: Do not place the crib next to a window, or close to curtains and drapery cords. In addition, don’t place the crib next to furniture that could help the child crawl or climb out of the crib.
In addition to this checklist, make sure that your crib is assembled correctly and that screws and bolts are always tight. The safe assembly and upkeep of your child care cribs can ensure that children at your child care center are always safe. In addition, safe cribs can help keep your child care center in business.