Tyler Jonathan’s Story

Tyler Jonathan

Tyler died when he was entrapped by a faulty drop-side crib. He was ten months old.

Submitted by his mother

When I woke up on the morning of December 12th, 1997, I found my son, Tyler Jonathan, with his neck caught between the side rail and headboard of his drop-side crib. Sometime after his one AM bottle, a single screw became loose, creating a gap wide enough to entrap his neck. When this happened, the side of his crib became a spring-loaded vice, strangling him to death instantly. The very last image I have of my precious son is that of him trapped and killed by a crib that I thought was his one and only safe haven.

For years after Tyler’s death, I could walk into a store and see the same crib that strangled my Tyler advertised as #1 in safety. There is something very wrong about that. It shocked me to learn that Tyler was not the first baby to die such a horrific death. I assumed, since I purchased his crib new from a high-end retailer and it met CPSC standards and was never recalled, that it was safe. His crib was oak and had steel hardware, unlike the plastic parts you read about today. It was put together properly and two years new. An expert engineer who examined the crib that killed my son deemed that the design of the crib was to blame and I agree with him. It is now 12 years later. A reported 32 babies within the last 10 years have been killed because they were strangled or suffocated while in a drop-side crib. With all the major recalls in recent news, people are finally beginning to realize that the drop-side crib is a flawed design.

Tyler is a true angel. His story is helping to save lives. We miss his crooked smile and wish he was here today, arguing with his big sister, baby sister and baby brother about who gets the last portion of mashed potatoes or the prize in the cereal box. The crib industry robbed my family of our most precious gift, our ten-month-old “Tye”, when it decided to keep a flawed crib design on the market, putting profits over safety. Tyler still has work here on earth and we will continue to help. Mandatory testing laws, banning the sale, manufacturing, distribution and import of cribs with drop-sides, mandatory reporting laws, Dollars for Drop-sides program, and stationary cribs built lower to the ground will save babies’ lives. Please learn how you can help by visiting the KID website often and writing your local, state and federal representatives. Please share Tyler’s story with other parents and caregivers and raise awareness about the tragedies caused by unsafe consumer products.

Thank you for reading,
Michele, Henning, Nicole, Madison and Mason-Lukas

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