Toddlers and Hotel Cribs

How did your toddler do the last time he had to catch some shut-eye in a hotel crib? Did he actually shut his eyes? Some parents tote their own Pack-N-Plays to provide their children with a familiar place to sleep and to avoid having to pay extra for a crib. However, after viewing the results of an investigation by the consumer safety group, Safe Kids Worldwide, hotels would have to pay me (A LOT) to place my toddler in one of their cribs.

The Safe Kids report exposed the poor quality of hotel cribs and the risk you are exposing your child to each time you place her in what experts call: “death traps.”

The following is a brief overview of the group’s report, which tested hotel cribs in Maryland:

Best Western

Safety experts found flaws with the hotel’s crib and the crib’s sheet. Instead, of covering the crib’s mattress with a fitted crib sheet, the hotel simply used a regular twin-size bed sheet. Experts say non-fitted crib sheets are suffocation hazards. What’s worse, all but one of the mattress board’s safety straps were broken or not connected.

Comfort Inn

Safety experts were given two wooden cribs, each containing an adult sheet. Upon further inspection the folks from Safe Kids found a more serious concern: the crib’s wooden rails were chipped in several areas. In fact, on one crib, chunks of wood were missing from the frame, leading the expert to conclude, “This is a death trap to a child.”

Super 8 Motels

Experts from Safe Kids say the first crib they requested not only came with a folded twin-size sheet, but also contained a pillow, which studies prove is a suffocation hazard. Safety experts also noted that the crib was assembled upside down, so the mattress floorboard wouldn’t stay in. In addition, much of the crib’s hardware was damaged, which resulted in exposed screws. Finally, the crib was reportedly so shoddily constructed it nearly collapsed during the inspection. The expert’s conclusion: “I wouldn’t even put a pet in this.”

Hampton Inn

There was some surprising good news at Hampton Inn. Experts received two portable cribs and commented that, “both of them look brand, spanking new, and both of them are in very good shape.”

As a result of the inspection Comfort Inn and Super 8 said it would destroy the damaged cribs and purchase replacements. Still, it clearly shows that it’s not a good idea to rely on hotels to provide you with a safe crib.

Do you bring your own toddler bedding when you travel?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.