Nursery Equipment Safety Checklist

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Topic Overview

After you have read the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's The Safe Nursery: A Booklet to Help Avoid Injuries From Nursery Furniture and Equipment, use this checklist as your guide when buying new or secondhand nursery products, or when you evaluate the product now being used by your baby or young child. You may want to add other features to check or add other children's products. The booklet is available online at

The following safety guidelines are adapted from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They are for various equipment found in nurseries, both at home and in child care settings. For more information, see the Consumer Product Safety Commission website (

Back carriers

Leg openings are small enough to prevent child from slipping out.

Leg openings are large enough to prevent chafing.

Frame joints in the folding mechanism.

Carrier has padded covering over metal frame near baby's face.

Bassinets and cradles

Bassinet/cradle has a sturdy bottom and a wide base for stability.

Bassinet/cradle has smooth surfaces-no protruding staples or other hardware that could injure the baby.

Legs have strong, effective locks to prevent folding while in use.

Mattress is firm and fits snugly.

Wood or metal cradles have slats spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches (60 mm) apart.

Carrier seats

Carrier seat has a wide, sturdy base for stability.

Carrier has non-skid feet to prevent slipping.

Supporting devices lock securely.

Carrier seat has a crotch and waist strap.

Buckle or strap is easy to use.

Changing tables

Table has safety straps to prevent falls.

Table has drawers or shelves that are easily accessible without leaving the baby unattended.


Slats are spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches (60 mm) apart.

No slats are missing, loose, or cracked.

Mattress fits snugly-no more than two fingers width between edge of mattress and cribside.

Mattress support is securely attached to the headboard and footboard.

Corner posts are no higher than 1/16 of an inch (1.5 mm).

No cutouts in top edge of headboard and footboard.

Drop-side latches cannot be easily released by a baby.

Drop-side latches securely hold side in raised position.

All screws, bolts, and other hardware are present and tight.

Gates and enclosures

Openings in gate are too small to entrap a child's head or neck.

Gate has a pressure bar or other fastener that will resist forces exerted by a child.

High chairs

There is a "crotch" strap that must be used when restraining a child in a high chair.

High chair has restraining straps that are independent of the tray.

Tray locks securely.

Buckles on straps are easy to fasten and unfasten.

High chair has a wide base for stability.

Caps or plugs on tubing are firmly attached and cannot be pulled off and choke a child.

Folding high chairs have an effective locking device.

Hook-on chairs

Chair has restraining straps.

Chair has a clamp that locks onto the table for added security.

Caps or plugs on tubing are firmly attached and cannot be pulled off to choke child.

Hook-on chair has a warning never to place chair where child can push off with feet.


Pacifier has no ribbons, string, cord, or yarn attached.

Shield is large enough and firm enough so it cannot fit into child's mouth.

Guard or shield has ventilation holes so baby can breathe if shield goes into mouth.

Pacifier nipple has no holes or tears that might cause it to break off in baby's mouth.


Playpens or travel cribs have top rails that will automatically lock when lifted into the normal use position.

Playpen does NOT have a rotating hinge in the center of the top rails.

Drop-side mesh playpen or mesh crib has warning label about never leaving a side in the down position.

Playpen mesh has small weave (less than 1/4 inch openings).

Mesh has no tears or loose threads.

Mesh is securely attached to top rail and floorplate.

Wooden playpen has slats spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches (60 mm) apart.

Rattles, squeeze toys, and teethers

Rattles, squeeze toys, and teethers have handles too large to lodge in a baby's throat.

Squeeze toys do not contain a squeaker that could detach and choke a baby.

Avoid rattles with ball shaped ends.

Strollers and carriages

Stroller has wide base to prevent tipping.

Seat belt and crotch strap are securely attached to frame.

Seat belt buckle is easy to use.

Brakes securely lock the wheel(s).

Shopping basket is low on the back and located directly over or in front of the wheels.

When used in carriage position, leg hole openings can be closed.

Toy chests

Toy chest has no latch to entrap child within the chest.

Toy chest has spring-loaded lid support that will not require periodic adjustment and will support the lid in any position to prevent lid slam.

Chest has ventilation holes or spaces in front or sides, or under lid.


Walker has safety features to help prevent a fall down stairs.


Other Works Consulted

  • Consumer Product Safety Commission (2009). The Safe Nursery: A Booklet to Help Avoid Injuries From Nursery Furniture and Equipment. Available online:


ByHealthwise Staff

Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics

Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine

Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics

Current as ofMay 4, 2017