Helpful Tips on Cot Safety

Cot Safety

Expectant parents have a great deal to think about in the lead-up to the birth of their beautiful child (children), so below we have complied some helpful safety tips to get you started on choosing the right cot and setting it up safely in your nursery.

It is an alarming fact that in Australia each year doctors treat 6,500 injuries from nursery furniture in children up to four years of age. This includes 540 hospital admissions, with most admissions under one years of age. Young babies are vulnerable to suffocating or choking, and toddlers are at risk of injury from falling while trying to climb out of the cot.

Firstly, if you are buying new cot, make sure that it complies with the mandatory safety standards based on the Australian standards for household cots AS/NZS 2172. If it doesn’t, don’t buy it! If you are using a second hand cot, then look for a sticker or label on the cot that says it complies. If you can’t find one, then make sure it meets the legal requirements which include:

  • The bars or panels should be spaced between 50mm and 95mm apart
  • The distance between the top of the mattress base and the top edge of the lowest cot side or end must be a minimum of 600mm when closed
  • The gap between the mattress and the cot sides and ends should be less than 20mm when centred
  • Check that there are no spaces between 30mm and 50mm that could trap your child’s arms or legs
  • Check there are no small holes or openings between 5mm and 12mm that could trap your child’s fingers
  • Check there are no fittings (including bolts, knobs and corner posts) that might catch onto your child’s clothing and cause distress or strangulation
  • Make sure the cot has no more than two legs with castors or that at least one pair of castors has brakes that work
  • And remember, it is always recommended to purchase a new mattress when using a second hand cot

Once you have chosen your cot and have brought it home it’s time to set it up:

  • Follow the instructions carefully when assembling and using the cot
  • Position the cot away from heaters, power points, windows and curtain and blind cords (these are a strangulation hazard)
  • Don’t hang anything like pictures or mirrors nearby, as there is a danger they may fall
  • Make sure the brakes are on the castors
  • Regularly check that the nuts and bolts are tight

Once you have correctly assembled and positioned the cot, there are a number of safety measures that should be followed to reduce the risk of falls, strangulation, and suffocation and to minimise the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome:

  • Do not leave toys with stretch or elastic cords within reach of your child
  • Do not use pillows for children under 2 years of age
  • Do not place small objects that could cause your child to choke within reach
  • Keep the cot uncluttered. Do not leave large toys that your child could use to climb out of the cot
  • Ensure quilts, doonas, pillows and cot bumpers are not in the cot
  • Place baby on their back to sleep with face uncovered and feet at the bottom of the cot

Also, it is recommend that when using or hiring a porta cot that you only use the mattress supplied. Don’t add additional padding under the mattress as a baby can get trapped face down in gaps created between the mattress and the cot wall.

If you would like to hire a full sized wooden cot or a porta cot from All Baby Hire, please Contact us today for a free quotation.