Baby beds are designed to restrict the baby to the bed. The sides are too high for a baby to climb and provide no footholds. Design standards all identify and address four broad hazards:
- Falls: To prevent injuries such as concussion and bone fractures from falls when trying to climb out, footholds are not permitted. Minimum cot side heights are defined for various mattress positions.
- Strangulation: Infants can become trapped and strangled if their clothing gets caught on parts of a cot that stick out, or if their head becomes trapped between gaps. Neither gaps large enough for a child’s head nor protrusions are permitted.
- Suffocation: Babies lack the motor skills or strength to turn their heads should they roll into something that obstructs their breathing. They can become trapped and suffocate if they fall into gaps created by ill-fitting or additional mattresses. Babies can also suffocate if the mattress is too soft.
- Entrapment: Infants can suffer injuries to their arms and legs if they become trapped between gaps. Gaps small enough for a limb to become trapped are not permitted