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Family Voices — Tyler Jonathan’s Story

Tyler died when he was entrapped by a faulty drop-side crib. He was ten months old.

Submitted by his mother

When I woke up on the morning of December 12th, 1997, I found my son, Tyler Jonathan, with his neck caught between the side rail and headboard of his drop-side crib. Sometime after his one AM bottle, a single screw became loose, creating a gap wide enough to entrap his neck. When this happened, the side of his crib became a spring-loaded vice, strangling him to death instantly. The very last image I have of my precious son is that of him trapped and killed by a crib that I thought was his one and only safe haven.

For years after Tyler’s death, I could walk into a store and see the same crib that strangled my Tyler advertised as #1 in safety. There is something very wrong about that. It shocked me to learn that Tyler was not the first baby to die such a horrific death. I assumed, since I purchased his crib new from a high-end retailer and it met CPSC standards and was never recalled, that it was safe.

What’s happened since Tyler’s death?

Tyler was killed in 1997, and since then there have been at least 32 infant deaths caused by suffocation or strangulation in a drop-side crib, as identified by the CPSC. It wouldn’t be until over 10 years after Tyler’s death that drop-side cribs would begin to gain attention for the dangers that they pose to infants.

On June 28, 2011 the world’s strongest crib standard went into effect, ensuring at long last that new cribs coming onto the market will provide a safe haven for babies and their families through a ban on the drop-side crib design, stringent testing standards and other improvements.


How You Can Take Action

To take action and help prevent further incidents, injuries, and deaths, there are a number of things you can do:

  1. Any time you buy a play yard or portable crib, check that the manufacture date is after February 28th, 2013 to make sure that it meets the strong standards set by CPSC.
  2. Register all infant and toddler durable products so you can be alerted to recalls.
  3. Check all sleep environments like cribs and other children’s products for recalls by visiting CPSC.gov and typing searching the recall database.
  4. Register for KID’s monthly email alert to stay up-to-date on all children’s product recalls and receive safety tips and information.

More Information on Cribs

Although mandatory standards exist for cribs, only recently has an effort been made to strengthen those standards and require testing and verification of new cribs. Because of these standards, all cribs must include proper assembly instructions and diagrams as well as cautionary and warning labels as required by federal law.

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