Hotel Crib Safety

Thinking about taking along your baby or toddler on your next business trip? You might want to check out the hotel crib extra carefully before laying your child down for a nap.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced in February that more than 80% of cribs inspected in hotels and motels were unsafe. Inspectors found that adult sheets were used on more half of the cribs that can suffocate an infant. Others found cribs, which were either recalled or had loose parts that can trap a child between broken parts.

About 40 babies unnecessarily are suffocated or strangled each year because of unsafe cribs. When traveling with your child inspect the hotel crib thoroughly before allowing your child to use it. For additional precaution, pack a set of crib sheets just incase the hotel does not have the proper bedding.

"Whether the hotel is on 5th Avenue or Main Street, there's no guarantee the crib you request will be safe and in good repair," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "Parents who are traveling should not have to worry about the place they put their child down to sleep."

Before laying your baby down check that the crib has:

  • A firm, tight-fitting mattress so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and the crib.
  • No missing, loose, broken or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or mattress support.
  • No more than 2 3/8 inches (about the width of a soda can) between crib slats so a baby's body cannot fit through the slats; no missing or cracked slats.
  • No corner posts over 1/16th inch high so a baby's clothing cannot catch.
  • No cutouts in the headboard or foot board so a baby's head cannot get trapped.

Bass Hotels & Resorts, owners of the Holiday Inn chain, was the only hotel chain to officially launch a safety initiative with the Commission and Safe Kids although other chains such as Marriott and Hilton say they have initiative already in place. Bass Hotels & Resorts will provide additional training for staff and hold a "Crib Safety Week" where each hotel's housekeeping and maintenance staff will conduct a thorough inspection of all cribs and play yards.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges parents who find unsafe cribs to report them to the hotels and call the agency's hotline, 800-638-2772.

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission