Hallie’s Story

Hallie

Hallie was trapped between her mattress and crib side, rescued by her mother. She was six months old.

Submitted by her mother

At around six months of age, or thereabouts, I put my daughter in her crib to play while I put her clean clothes in her dresser. We had attached crib toys to the ends of her crib rails and she liked to pull herself up and play. She reached out to pull herself up and missed. To my horror, I watched her arm slide down the corner of her bed up to her shoulder. She had become wedged and trapped face down. I am incredibly lucky, this happened while I was in her room. Many parents may not be so lucky.

My daughter’s “standard size” crib mattress was too small for her “standard size” crib. Upon further inspection, her mattress was a good 3”-4” shorter than the interior of her crib. I bought the Graco “Lauren” crib and a Kolcraft mattress. Graco would not take an incident report, nor would they talk to me about this problem. I was referred to the manufacturer, LaJobi. LaJobi’s representative agreed to send me a new mattress at no charge. When I asked if this was a common problem, he told me, yes, it was fairly common and they had replaced mattresses for other customers. But most surprising was his explanation of why the “standard size” mattress did not fit the “standard size” crib correctly. There is no industry standard for measuring crib mattresses. In addition, the clips that held the drop rail in place, had also failed to operate correctly. Those were replaced with the new mattress.

I begged the retailer, Target, to include mattress recommendations in their product descriptions, to no avail. Had I had better information, I would have made a wiser choice. Very often nursery items are purchased by family members, who otherwise, would not know the dangers these unregulated products pose.

It is my hope that more stringent regulations are put in place to correct this problem. While my daughter’s story is not a fatality, another child’s experience might not have the same positive outcome.
Sleep environments are the most sacred places we put our children. We have faith that these products are tested and regulated. Sadly, that is not always the case.

All cribs and mattresses should be sold together to insure a proper fit. Companies should be required to test these products, and keep a log of all incident reports. CPSC should have regulatory powers over these products and manufacturers should be mandated to comply with their regulations. Kids should not be product testers by virtue of their need for these safety products.

For more information, check out:
Product Hazards/Cribs
Safe Sleep Tips (PDF)