Magazine article USA TODAY

Avoiding Crib-Related Injuries to Infants

Magazine article USA TODAY

Avoiding Crib-Related Injuries to Infants

Article excerpt

The number of infants who fall from their cribs could be greatly reduced if manufacturers increased the side height of the furniture, suggests Marcella V. Ridenour, a senior researcher for the Biokinetics Research Laboratory in Temple University's College of Education, Philadelphia, Pa., who has been researching children's products for more than 25 years. Her latest study, which involved 144 children between the ages of one and three and a half, assessed the effectiveness of 26-, 30-, 35-, and 39-inch crib side rails as a mechanism to prevent accidents resulting from climbing out. The results show that manufacturers need to anticipate movements and motor behavior to modify the crib design or to recommend guidelines according to children's age, height, or motor skills.

Current regulations require the minimum distance between the top of the mattress support and top of the crib side rail to be 26 inches, which must include a six-inch thick mattress. However, Ridenour notes, "When a mattress is used with the crib, the actual height of the crib side as a barrier is 20 inches. …

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