If you answer this question without a second thought then your immediate response will be “of course, crib tents are absolutely safe!” Having been designed to provide additional safety and security to babies and toddlers, it seems impossible that these devices would be hazardous or dangerous rather than cozy little cocoons.
Some Background on Crib Tents
A crib tent is essentially a domed covering of mesh that can be attached to a crib. Its basic features are that it has plenty of head room, it gives your child enough space to walk around in and play in while restricting the child to the crib; thereby protecting them from the injuries they could get by jumping or climbing out of the crib. The new versions (Crib Tent II) also have netting that saves the child’s body parts from getting jammed between the slats of the crib. Crib tents are also effective protectors against insects and pets attacking helpless toddlers. But…
Are Crib Tents Safe?
Yes! When used properly (i.e. with adult supervision), crib tents are safe. If you try to use this as a baby jail, to keep an unattended toddler from climbing out of the crib while you spend hours doing things other than parenting, then there’s a good chance a crib tent could be unsafe. But as long as you stay nearby and keep an eye on your kiddo, even if they do manage to do something which could make the crib tent unsafe (for example, ripping through the netting), you could stop it before it gets any further. And yes, a damaged crib tent IS an unsafe crib tent, so if you or your toddler damage a crib tent, it should be removed until it can be replaced. Incidentally, I have read reports online that if the damage occurs in the course of normal use (e.g. a zipper irreparably separating), that Tots In Mind will take care of it for you. I can’t vouch for this personally, though, as I have not yet had a problem with a crib tent. You can read my crib tent review here.
Be Sure to Buy New, not Used
It is important to note that there have been issues with certain older crib tents; for example, The Portable Play Yard Tent Plus Cabana was recalled due to the clips which held it to the playard being of an unsafe design. It has since been replaced with the Playard Crib Tent and Sunshade, which is made with redesigned clips. Another safety hazard is when the ends of the crib tents are loose and do not fit tightly over the crib, in these cases the entire crib tent would not serve its purpose, and could even fall off the crib, potentially injuring a child. While this is highly unlikely when the crib tents are used on a standard-sized crib, it is something to be aware of if you happen to have a non-standard size crib.
In other words, if your crib tent does not fit properly when you install it, send it back! Don’t take chances with your baby’s safety.
Common Sense Prevails
The stories you find online might seem extremely frightening and make you doubt the crib tent’s safety but think about this; would you rather be constantly worried about your child falling out of the crib or being mauled by your animals or would you rather invest in a device that can prevent these problems? Tots In Mind manufactures crib tents that have heavy meshing that is extremely difficult for little children to tear through. This is not the case with other crib netting products, so I therefore can only recommend the original crib tent made by Tots In Mind.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below!