Safe Sleep Tips for the Biggest Travel Month of the Year

August is the biggest travel month of the year, and many families take time away before the busy back to school season starts. Unfamiliar environments can pose hidden hazards, especially when it comes to safe sleep. Following best practices can be complicated when traveling and staying in different hotels or houses each night, but with these tips you should be set to having a fun and safe family vacation.

ABC’s of Safe Sleep

Always follow the ABC’s of safe sleep, even when you’re on the road and away from home. These recommendations will to make sure your baby is sleeping safely every night. Your baby should sleep alone (no bumpers, toys or loose bedding), on their back, and in a crib that meets current safety standards. Remember that these guidelines apply to naptimes as well as nighttime sleep – babies don’t know the difference.

The CPSC also warns caregivers to stay away from inflatable air mattresses for babies. Although they might be tempting to use while traveling, infants can suffocate on the air mattresses or become entrapped between the air mattress and the wall or couch. The CPSC has received 40 reports of infant deaths from inflatable air mattresses.

Crib Safety

Baby Crib, product safetyCheck the cribs wherever you visit for recalls and loose or missing hardware or slats. Crib mattresses should be tight fitting; 2 fingers should not be able to fit between the mattress and crib’s side. Review KID’s Safe Sleep Tips for further guidelines on creating safe sleep environments.

Also be mindful of the age of any crib you are using or borrowing. Any crib manufactured after June 28, 2011 meets toughest standards in the world and is therefore the safest place for a baby to sleep. It may be tempting to reuse an older crib stored at a family member or friend’s house, but cribs made before June 2011 may not meet current federal standards.

There are also federal standards for play yards, or portable cribs. Play yards manufactured after February 28, 2013 are required to meet the current strongest standards. Even with play yards or cribs that meet current standards, avoid adding extra mattresses, pillows, blankets, or cushions of any sort.

Check for Recalls and More

Whether you purchase or borrow any new or unfamiliar infant products, such as cribs or play yards, check those products for recalls at www.cpsc.gov. You can also research unfamiliar products on www.SaferProducts.gov, a government database of consumer-reported product incidents. If you experience an incident with an unsafe product you encounter while traveling, you can also report that incident on www.SaferProducts.gov to warn other consumers.

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