Study finds 10,000 infants hurt annually in crib accidents - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UDPATED: Study finds 10,000 infants hurt annually in crib accidents

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BLACK HAWK CO. (KWWL) -- A new study finds that close to 10,000 infants and toddlers are hurt each year in crib accidents, and another 2,000 are killed.  That averages out to around 26 kids being injured each day.  Experts say it's a cal to action and that new measures should be taken to ensure child safety.

First, experts believe the recent ban of drop-side cribs will help reduce the number of crib accidents, but still believe more can be done to keep kids safe.  And once children reach about three feet tall, it's time to move from a crib to a toddler bed.  Above all, it's crucial to be vigilant about noticing your child's behavior, since most injuries result from kids leaning over the crib and falling out.

Jenelle Shamrell is a mother of five with kids ranging from age 8 down to 8 months.  All of her children have slept in the same crib.  And Shamrell admits that at first, she was overly cautious when it came to bed time.

"Abigail was my first.  And I would sleep with my hand on her in the bassinet next to me because I was so afraid of SIDS.  It was my biggest fear.  I'd wake up having nightmares that something would happen to her when she was born," Shamrell said.

But with time, she's realized that sleep is valuable for mom, dad, and baby."I got over my fear and realized that the best way for me to be an effective mom is to be a well rested mom.  And I cannot be a well rested mom if I'm constantly worrying about how they're doing in their sleeping and getting up constantly to check on them," said Shamrell.

On a few occasions, her children have gotten legs and arms stuck in crib rails.  Her toddler has even climbed into the crib with baby sister in the middle of the night.  But none of those incidents have ever resulted in injuries.  But Shamrell may be the exception.  A new report in the medical journal Pediatrics finds that most often, kids get hurt from falls.  But trapped limbs and breathing problems from blankets, stuffed animals, and mattresses have also caused many injuries, and even death.

"Make sure the cribs are safe.  Anybody that buys a used crib really needs to look at it for safety.  Make sure the mattress is tight fitting, and that there's no loose or broken headboards or slats," said Marsha Platt, public health nurse with the Black Hawk County Health Department.

And lowering the mattress as your child gets older can help prevent them from falling over the edge.  They're tips that just might help keep your child safe when they sleep.

It's recommended that infants sleep on their backs and that parents use sturdy cribs, with no pillows or extra padding inside. 

The study released Thursday only looked at emergency room reports.  But most children are not hospitalized for crib related injuries.  Also, US House subcommittee held a consumer product safety hearing Thursday, and crib safety was a part of those discussions.

A wealth of information on crib safety can be found here.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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