Danny Lineweaver’s Story

Danny Lineweaver

Danny Lineweaver was strangled when his clothing caught on the corner post of his crib. He was almost 2 years old.

Submitted by his parents, John and Rose

Note: On September 3, 2011, Danny’s mother, Rose Lineweaver died. She was an amazing woman who will be dearly missed. KID is honored to remember Rose and Danny as we work for safer cribs.

On July 14, 1984, just shy of his second birthday, Danny was put down for a nap in his Alamo, California home. When his mother went to check on him, she found him hanging outside his crib by his shirt, which had became entangled on the corner post extension of his crib. Danny had been strangled and suffered permanent brain damage and severe physical disabilities. Danny’s doctors doubted he would live through the end of the year but after 9 years of loving care at home Danny died on October 3, 1993, at age eleven, from complications of a respiratory illness.

Danny’s parents assumed their son had been the victim of a ‘freak accident’, but soon learned that 40 children had died in similar circumstances over the past 10 years. Danny was the 21st child to known to suffer this exact type of crib accident in the 13 years that the Federal Government had been keeping statistics. The Lineweavers discovered that cribs—the only juvenile product manufactured for the explicit purpose of leaving a child unattended—caused approximately 100 deaths each year. And as they knew too well, this horrifying statistic did not include those kids like Danny who had survived only to live restricted and dependent lives. Yet nothing was being done to prevent the same tragic accident from happening again and again.

The youngest of 12 children, Danny was described in a eulogy by family friend as “the absolute center of attention in that household—the center of an enormous circle of love and affection in this large family of truly exceptional people.”
Danny’s parents turned their grief into positive action; they created the Danny Foundation in 1986 with the mission to educate the public about the dangers associated with cribs and advocate to rid the market of these unsafe products.

In its nearly twenty years in operation, the Foundation worked to develop regulatory standards for safe nursery products and petition CPSC to recall unsafe cribs. As a result of the Foundation’s efforts, California became the first state to pass a law making it illegal to use cribs not meeting current safety standards for any commercial purposes.

Commenting during the Foundation’s final days in December 2005, John Lineweaver, Danny’s father, remarked that, “The Danny Foundation’s biggest accomplishment was the establishment of virtually all of the government crib manufacturing standards that exist today. A crib purchased in 2005 is largely unrecognizable when compared to the crib that took our son’s life. We can proudly proclaim that when you buy a new crib today, you are getting a truly safe place to leave your baby alone, unobserved and unattended. This is a fitting tribute to the memory of Danny. His legacy will remain the difference the Foundation made in saving the lives of infants.”

You can find out more about the potential hazards of cribs and learn safety tips for keeping your home free of unsafe children’s products by visiting KID’s page on cribs. KID has dedicated this page to Danny, with the hope that his tragedy will never be repeated.

For more information, check out: Product Hazards/Cribs