This week, in a unanimous vote by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a decision has been made to ban drop-side cribs in the United States.
It comes as no surprise considering that there have been so many recalls (as many as 1.5 million since January 2010) of drop-side cribs and, after as many as 32 confirmed infant deaths and 14 suspected other fatalities over the past nine years. The CPSC has confirmed that they are instituting this ban on manufacturing, sale and re-sale of drop-side cribs everywhere in the United States.
Please know that this ban does not take effect until June 2011.
For those of you who may not know, a drop-side crib is where one entire side of the crib can be raised and lowered to reach a child more easily. What's been happening with these cribs is that the side that drops down can come apart and trap a baby in the openings created. It is not recommend for parents to create their own remedies to fix these cribs.
Therefore, in the meantime, if you are expecting a baby please choose a stationary crib with no drop-side feature. If you have an infant at home who is currently sleeping in a drop-side crib please find other arrangements if you can for your resting little one. If you are not able to make a change quickly or due to cost (as cribs can be pricey) please first check to see if your crib has been on any of the previous recall lists available on the CPSC website. Also, most manufacturers of drop-side cribs are providing free and simple repair kits so please research your crib further to confirm that it is indeed safe.
To find a list of recalled cribs, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website included below.
If you or someone you know has a drop-side crib that has not been a part of a previous recall, it may be possible to continue using it. For example, many crib manufacturers are offering repair kits to disable the drop-side feature and lock it in the upright position. This eliminates the danger of the side becoming detached and trapping the infant however it’s not a guarantee.
This ban also means that drop-side cribs will not be allowed in child-care facilities such as daycares as well as places that provide cribs for convenience during travel (e.g., hotels). Cribs will need to be replaced by all these places with safer options.
Furthermore, drop-side cribs will not be allowed to be resold anywhere including consignment stores, EBay, Craig's List, etc. Please be weary if you find a drop-side crib at any of these or other locations including yard sales, swap meets. Please remind and advise the owner trying to sell these cribs of this news and your concerns with them selling it to help keep other babies safe.
While it's good news to know that more rigorous safety testing will be done for cribs it's frightening to think that this was not done already. Then again, that is how we improve upon products. With more detailed protocols and benchmarks to test products our kids use we can hope for even more safe products for them in the future.
I am extremely thankful to the CPSC for finally deciding issue this ban to halt the creation and sale of drop-side cribs. I am also thanking my lucky stars and G-d too, for watching over my Sarah as she slept in a drop-side crib for nearly a year.
Here's to providing comfortable and safe sleeping spaces for our kids.