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Used Baby Cribs

Baby Products Safety


Updated January 28, 2008

At one time, parents were strongly encouraged to avoid used baby cribs. In fact, in 1995 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a safety alert that warned that "used cribs are responsible for about 50 infant deaths a year."

Although strict crib safety standards were developed in 1974, at the time of that safety alert, there were likely a lot of older cribs that weren't up to those safer standards still in use.

While today's cribs are now much safer than they used to be, the CPSC still states that "more infants die each year in incidents involving cribs than from any other nursery product; about 20 deaths a year were reported over a recent three-year period."

Used Baby Cribs

If borrowing or buying a used baby crib or getting one as a hand-me-down from a friend or family member, to make sure that the crib is safe, the CPSC recommends that you inspect the crib for the following crib safety features:

  • It should have a firm mattress that fits tightly into the crib.
  • Make sure that you have assembled the crib properly and that no parts are loose, missing or broken.
  • There should be no more than 2 3/8 inches between the slats of the crib and there should be no missing or broken slats.
  • The crib should have no cutouts in the headboard or footboard, in which the baby's head could get trapped, and doesn't have decorative knobs or cornerposts that are higher than 1/16 inch.

It can also be important to make sure that the crib was not involved in a crib recall, or if it was, that it was properly repaired.

Used Cribs and Lead Paint

Could your used crib be made with lead paint? That is possible if it was made before 1978, the year lead was banned from use in paint in the United States.

If you are considering using an antique crib or one that has been in your family for a long time, have it tested for lead paint, or keep it away from your child.


U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Safety Alert. Release # 95-161. CPSC Warns Consumers That Used Cribs Can Be Deadly. August 31, 1995.

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Crib Safety Tips.

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