Q: You recently wrote about the dangers of using old baby cribs. Can you explain? I have the one I slept in as a baby in 1942. I have that crib set up for my 10-month-old granddaughter for naps. Is the crib safe?
A: Your old crib is not safe. Nearly every crib made before about 10 years ago is not safe. The problems include slats that are too far apart, which can trap a baby’s head. Slats should be closer than 2 3/8 inches apart. Drop sides can crash down and throw a standing toddler onto the floor or trap a baby against the mattress. And many early cribs are covered in lead paint. A child chewing on the rails could swallow paint chips and get lead poisoning. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s homepage (CPSC.gov) has a “Cribs” link that provides all the safety information you need. Some collectors use old cribs to hold dolls or stuffed animals. It is illegal to sell old cribs.