Two agencies help parents identify products that meet travel-crib safety standards. In its booklet, "The Safe Nursery," the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issues safety guidelines for products used for babies. A pamphlet contains a section on playpen and travel-crib safety. The second agency that recommends kid-safe products is the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. Its seal of approval only goes on products that meet rigid American Society for Testing and Materials guidelines.
Travel-crib safety rules serve the function of providing only safe products for parents to use. Whether the portable crib is one the parents take with them as they travel with their baby or one provided by the hotel, the same safety rules apply. These rules can prevent strangulation, cuts, bruises and other injuries.
A safe travel crib has four locking top rails. The openings in the mesh webbing around the sides of the portable crib should be less than 1/4 inch in diameter. If the buttons on a baby's outfit can get through the mesh, it's too large. If the travel crib has wooden slats, the openings should be no larger than 2 3/8 inches.
Travel cribs with drop down-sides can be dangerous. A small child can slip off the crib floor and into the mesh. This may lead to strangulation. Broken top rails can also catch a young child's neck or arm. Rips in the mesh of the portable crib may allow the child to get his head caught. Teething children may bite holes in the foam padding on the top rails. They may inadvertently swallow pieces of plastic from the padding.
Generally speaking, avoid accessories for travel cribs. If the pad isn't the original one for the travel crib, don't use it. Sheets and blankets for portable crib pads should fit snugly. If they don't fit, don't use them because they may be a strangulation hazard. Don't hang toys from the sides of the crib because they may pose a strangulation hazard as well. Leave larger toys out of the travel crib so the young child doesn't try to use them to climb out of the bed.