Crib Safety for Toddlers

Toddlers often are able to stand, climb, and reach in their cribs. The crib mattress should be lowered as the child grows so that the sides of the crib remain high enough to prevent falling or climbing out. Items that might be used as a foothold or step (e.g., bumpers) should be removed and the sides of the crib should be locked securely to prevent falling.

Slats should be no more than 2 3/8 inches apart to keep a toddler from getting stuck or falling through. The mattress and crib sheet should fit snugly to prevent suffocation. Posts at the corners of the crib should be no higher than 1/16 of an inch to prevent clothing and bedding from catching and increasing the risk for strangulation. Cribs should not be placed near curtain or blind cords, decorative ribbons, or electrical cords.

Toddler beds should be low enough to the floor to prevent injury if a child falls out. Avoid using toddler beds with peeling paint or loose hardware. Keep the floors free of clutter and use a nightlight in case the child needs to get up during the night.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 06 Oct 2015