Graco Pack ‘n Play – Air Permeability Statement

Cribs for Kids® wants to remind all of our partners and clients that we hold safety to the highest standard.  We are contacting you in light of the recent news about the trial concerning baby Abigail, who tragically died in an Evenflo BabyGo playpen due to the breathability of the mattress pad cover.  Please be assured that the Graco® Pack ‘n Play® portable crib mattress pad cover is one of the most air permeable and, therefore, safest units available.

When we started the Cribs for Kids® initiative we vetted all other playards and chose the Graco® Pack ‘n Play®, as it proved to be superior in quality and safety.  We stand by our commitment to this product based on Graco’s safety record that includes zero recalls.

The ‘Karow vs. Evenflo air permeability of sleep surface study’ below further supports our selection of the Graco® Pack ‘n Play® as our program’s standard unit. (The Cribs for Kids Graco® Pack ‘n Play® is listed as ‘Graco Unknown’ on the chart below.)  The  Evenflo mattress was revealed to have little to no air permeability, while the ‘Graco Unknown’ has the highest air permeability on the chart.  The superior air permeability of the Graco mattress is just one of the reasons why we choose to continue to use the Graco® Pack ‘n Play®.  We believe that our product is the safest for our clients.

KarowVSEvenflo_AirPermChartWe are often asked by our clients about the thickness of our mattress and the use of a supplemental mattress pad.  Our mattresses are designed to be thin and air permeable for safety reasons.  To further ensure the safety of our clients, we remind you that Graco Children’s Products does not make or sell a supplemental mattress pad for use in the Pack ‘n Play.  Some supplemental mattress pads are marketed as “fitting most Graco Pack ‘n Plays”; however Graco does not sell, nor do they advise use of any supplemental mattresses.  The Graco® manual included with every portable crib that all of your clients receive recommends never adding anything to the Pack ‘n Play® that is not included in the original packaging.

This statement from Graco® manual warns that the use of a supplemental mattress is not recommended, or supported, under any condition: “Unlike cribs that have rigid sides, the playard has flexible sides.  As a result, the playard mattress/pad is specially designed to prevent suffocation.  The playard mattress/pad has a solid base, a certain length and width, and is less than one inch thick in order to meet safety standards.  Using a thicker or a different sized mattress/pad may allow a child’s head to get between mattress/pad and the side of the playard causing suffocation.” 

At Cribs for Kids®, our mission is to keep babies safe while sleeping, and to provide safe sleep environments to those in need.  As safety remains our focus through education and support that we provide to all of our partners and clients, you can be confident that the Graco® Pack ‘n Play® is the safest unit available.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at

Milwaukee health department raises awareness about Cribs for Kids program

MILWAUKEE, WI Feb 16, 2016 – A one-year-old girl sleeping with two adults on the north side is found dead Tuesday morning.

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office believes it’s a co-sleeping death. Initial reports state the girl was on a partially inflated air mattress with the adults at a home near 15th and Nash.

This is the third co-sleeping death in the City of Milwaukee this year, and there’s a desperate attempt to get the word out about resources for families who don’t have a crib or separate bed for their child. Health officials said an average of 10-15 babies die a preventable death because of unsafe sleeping environments.

“The most common risk factors that we see are soft bedding, soft mattresses, pillows, blankets,” said Jill Radowicz, City of Milwaukee Health Department nurse.

She said sharing a bed with a parent or sibling is dangerous too.

“Obviously an adult is a lot heavier than a small infant and when the air mattress sinks down, that infant rolls underneath the parent,” said Milwaukee Police Officer Dan Pierce.

Families in need can get the proper baby sleeping tools through the city’s Cribs for Kids program. After education and training, they get a pack and play for free, complete with a firm mattress, fitted sheet and a halo sleep sack.

“It’s a blanket that won’t cause a suffocation risk because it won’t go over their face,” she said.

CBS 58Tuesday, the health department expanded the program with the help of Milwaukee police.

Officers in districts two and three received training, so when they respond to calls, they can refer families who need a crib. The effort is already underway in district seven. Officer Nat Tharpe recalled a previous case.

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APNO SYSTEMS – Hall of Unsafe Sleep Shame!!


Several images depicted in this product’s marketing materials do not meet the AAP recommended guidelines for infant sleep safety.

Update:  We are encouraged to see that the company has taken steps to eliminate statements about preventing SIDS and have removed photos depicting bed-sharing practices.  Kudos for that!  Now just a few more unsafe sleeping images to go!

Posted on
Apno SystemsUNSAFE
→ Sleeping on side/tummy (prone)
→ Soft bedding, cluttered sleeping environment
Bed-sharing Images removed 
Product marketing claims to be able to prevent SIDS Marketing information updated

All risk factors listed above can be found in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Guidelines for Infant Sleep Safety “SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Expansion of Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment”


Celebrate One aims to teach parents the ABCs of Safe Sleep

A Picture Worth a Thousand Words Should Also Be Worth Your Child’s Life

Tara Haelle
(Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.)

One out of every six advertisements in two of the most popular US parenting magazines illustrate a scene or endorse a product that violates a policy recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found a recent study. That’s more than 300 ads in just two years’ worth of the magazine’s issues.

Whether it was toddlers reaching into a big bowl of popcorn or a baby sleeping amidst a sea of stuffed animals, the ads conveyed a message contradicting what the nation’s largest group of pediatricians has deemed safe and appropriate for children — and more than half of them showed potentially life-threatening situations.

“There’s a fair amount of research showing that advertising affects behavior and that we make decisions based on advertising,” especially related to teenage smoking, drinking and food choices, said Dr. Mike Pitt, an assistant professor of pediatrics at University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital and the author who presented the study this week at the AAP’s National Conference in Washington, D.C. “Obviously if advertising didn’t work, people wouldn’t do it. Why not demonstrate what’s in the best interest of children and not normalize behavior that may be harmful?” Pitt said.

They analyzed all the ads in all the issues for Parents Magazine and Family Fun Magazine (chosen for circulation numbers) in 2009 and 2014 and compared them to all the policy statements on the AAP’s website for parents, Of just over 2,000 ads that qualified as ones aimed at selling a product for children’s use, 15.7% contained images or products going against AAP guidelines.

Consider these examples:

Children under age 7 eating or picking up popcorn
Gummy vitamin ads recommending the product for age 2 and up, since the AAP recommends no gummy food items until age 4.
Herbal flower drops advertised to treat daydreaming in kids. (Yes, really.)
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Images with children under age 8 holding latex balloons, a choking hazard.
Any image with a trampoline since the AAP recommends against trampoline use
Children standing up in the main compartment of grocery carts.
Children under age 12 on a boat or leaping into a lake without a life jacket on.
Children under age 2 holding smartphone devices
Educational videos that specifically mentioned being used for children under 2.
Infants sleeping on their stomachs or in cribs with stuffed animals, pillows, blankets or other soft objects.
Homeopathic treatments for infant teething or ear aches.
The choking hazard images — such as the popcorn and balloon images in ads — were among the 59% of violations the researchers considered life-threatening. The most fatal item children can choke on is a latex balloon, Pitt said. Other categories classified as potentially life-threatening included ones with non-FDA-approved therapeutic products or ones violating playground, water, fall, or sleep safety guidelines.

This stock photo may look cute, but it illustrates an unsafe sleep environment. Such an image would have been a violation if it had appeared in an ad in one of the magazines in this study. Photo by Paul Cioca.
This stock photo may look cute, but it illustrates an unsafe sleep environment. Such an image would have been a violation if it had appeared in an ad in one of the magazines in this study. Photo by Paul Cioca.

Pitt said his team did not necessarily endorsed the AAP policy statements by doing the study. He was surprised, for example, to find the AAP recommends never putting children in shopping carts. The trickiest one to decide whether to include was infant formula. All the formula ads counted as a “violation” and comprised 11% of the ads going against policy statements.

“The reason we opted to include formula is that the AAP has its own statement that there should not be direct consumer advertising for formula, which coincides with a WHO recommendation,” Pitt said. He pointed out that studies have shown that women are less likely to breastfeed the more formula advertising they are exposed to.

Making changes to follow AAP recommendations wouldn’t mean not advertising at all for most products. Yes, to technically align with all AAP recommendations, magazines would have to scrap ads for infant walkers, non-FDA-approved therapies for children and formula (and the latter would never happen, Pitt acknowledges). But most ads simply require tweaks: put a bicycle helmet on a kid. Make the girl reaching into the popcorn bowl a few years older.

“I think the advertisers and editors want the best for children,” he said. “I don’t think they’re making these decisions to illustrate bad examples.”

And how to do it? Magazine advertising departments could create a set of guidelines that advertisers must follow, such as requiring all images of children on bicycles or scooters to wear a helmet and all photos of kids in car seats to show the straps correctly done. Pitt said his wife, who works in advertising, described similar guidelines in TV advertising, such as requiring any person in a white coat in a commercial to be a real doctor, not an actor.

Clearly, industry does pay attention when there’s enough awareness about an issue, the researchers found. Between 2009 and 2014, for example, Pitt’s team found a steep drop in violations of AAP’s safe infant sleep recommendations, from 19 ads in 2009 to 1 ad in 2014.

“Honing in on those improvements and exploring why they have been made versus others could help holistically improve compliance across the board,” said Avery Holton, PhD, a professor studying media effects and health communication at the University of Utah (and a former graduate school peer of mine).

While Holton wasn’t surprised at the overall findings, the proportion of life-threatening did startle him.

“You would expect to see spotty violations here and there, but you would also expect to see much lower numbers in terms of violations that are considered life-threatening versus those that are not necessarily immediate threats to a child’s well-being,” Holton said.

And pictures do matter, he said.

“We already know that a vast majority of the public seek out health information from the mass media, particularly resources that are perceived to be authorities in parenting such as parenting magazines and websites,” Holton said. “So it’s important that these outlets, as well as those contributing to them, are rigorous in the content they provide. That content can change parental beliefs and behaviors, and visuals can play a strong role in that.”

Simply portraying images that jibe with AAP recommendations does not guarantee that readers of these magazines will suddenly follow those recommendations, Holton cautioned. But seeing images that conflict with what a doctor says (perhaps even subconsciously), can “possibly raise anxiety levels, and, in extreme cases, change parental behaviors in negative ways,” Holton said.

“Social scientists, physicians, and number of others have been trying for years to figure out ways to positively change health behaviors and outcomes using visuals. What they’ve found is sort of a mixed bag,” Holton said. “What’s for certain, though, is that images can be powerful tools to help explain complex health issues and to potentially drive changes in beliefs and behaviors.”

My book, The Informed Parent, with co-author Emily Willingham, is available for pre-order. Find me on Twitter here.

Link to original article:

LeConte’s Dolly Parton Birthing Unit Achieves Safe Sleep Hospital Certification

September 8, 2015

The National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program has recognized LeConte Medical Center for its commitment to leadership for best practices and education on infant safe sleep. The program was created by Cribs for Kids®, a Pittsburgh-based organization dedicated to preventing infant, sleep-related deaths due to accidental suffocation.

“Sleep-related death results in the loss of over 3500 infants every year in the United States,” comments Michael H. Goodstein, MD, FAAP, Neonatologist, Medical Director/Research, Cribs for Kids, director of York County Cribs for Kids Program. “We know that consistent education can have a profound effect on infant mortality, and this program is designed to encourage safe sleep education and recognize those hospitals that are taking an active role in reducing these unnecessary deaths.”

The new National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program has three levels of safe sleep excellence: Bronze Certified Safe Sleep Hospital, Silver Certified Safe Sleep Leader, and Gold Certified Safe Sleep Champion. The Dolly Parton Birthing Unit at LeConte Medical Center achieved the Bronze Certified Safe Sleep Hospital recognition. The nursing staff at LeConte Medical Center

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Cribs for Kids Teams with First Responders to Reduce Infant Deaths in Washington

Posted by Veronica Quintero, Reporter

WAKE UP NORTHWEST – The national Cribs for Kids® program is piloting a safety initiative in Washington State in an effort to reduce Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

This is in partnership with the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission and there’s two parts to the initiative. “Cops n Cribs” for law enforcement and “Code Red” for firefighters.

In the course of their duties, law enforcement and firefighters are being trained to ask families where their babies sleep. Often times, there may or may not be a crib available.

Deborah Robinson, Infant Death Investigation Specialist tells us the majority of sudden infant deaths occur in unsafe sleep situations.

“Firefighters are going in, they’re re-doing cribs. For low-income families who don’t have a crib or the ability to buy a crib, they’re getting portable pack ‘n plays,” said Robinson.

On a local level, the Yakima Police Department tells us they’ve implemented a “Safe Sleep” program to prevent infant deaths as well. First responders can provide families with safe sleep cards produced by the Washington Department of Health. The cards have information about SIDS and resources for parents to keep their kids safe.

Link to Original Article:

Keeping Kids Fit: Creating a safe sleep environment for your baby

Most newborn babies thrive and celebrate their first birthdays. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for every 1,000 babies born in the U.S., six will die during their first year. This is known as infant mortality. As summer winds down, September is a perfect time to discuss how to keep your baby safe as we recognize National Infant Mortality Awareness Month.
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Record Low Sleep-Related Infant Deaths in 2014

When B’more for Healthy Babies launched in 2009, Baltimore City experienced 27 sleep-related infant deaths – a record high for the city. On July 22, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen announced, that in 2014, that number was down to 13, the lowest ever recorded in Baltimore City’s history.

Our first campaign phase, SLEEP SAFE, focused on educating parents and caregivers about safe sleep practices. In order to continue our progress, we recently launched a new phase including smoke-free messaging. In the words of Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen:

“Education is the key to changing behavior to prevent these tragic deaths. The proper sleeping environment is critical.  That means everyone needs to know the ABCs of Safe Sleep – that babies should be put to sleep on Alone, on their Backs, and in Cribs, without exposure to secondhand smoke.  This is the best way to ensure babies stay healthy and are ready to thrive.”

As we celebrate this milestone, B’more for Healthy Babies and our many partners remain committed to making sure that all babies in Baltimore City are born healthy and ready to thrive in strong families and communities.

To learn more about our progress and future directions, please read the press release from Baltimore City Health Department.


Knox Co. Health Department shares tips on safe sleeping for infants

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knox Co. Health Department shares tips on safe sleeping for infants.

In 2012, officials say 121 babies died in Tennessee due to unsafe sleeping conditions, including co-sleeping. That includes sleeping in the same area as other children, pets, or adults, or sleeping in unsafe environments, such as couches, chairs or swings.

Here are the A-B-C’s of safe sleeping:

A is for alone: Always put the baby to sleep alone.
B stands for, “on the baby’s back,”: an infant should be placed to sleep on his or her side or stomach.
C is for crib: Always put a baby to sleep in a crib that is empty of other items such as pillows, toys, blankets and bumper pads.

If you can’t afford a crib, there is a resource in our community called, “East Tennessee Safe Sleep Initiative: Cribs for Kids.”

This local coalition is made up of organizations, including the Knox Co. Health Department. This grant helps provide infant beds and educational information to families in need.

To see if you qualify for assistance, email for more information or call (865) 215-5170

Original Article can be found at:

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