Published Dec 15, 2010
Reports of more than 30 infant deaths in the last decade and continuing safety issues, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission banned all drop-down cribs.
As a result of ongoing safety issues, the Consumer Protection Safety Commission has officially banned the manufacturing, sales and re-sale of all drop-down style cribs as of December 15, 2010. Safety issues with the drop-down feature, including the rail dropping on infants and suffocation from a gap between the side rail and mattress, resulted in more than 30 infant and toddler deaths in the last ten years.
Drop-Down Crib Recalls Still in Use and for Sale
Although more than 1.5 million drop-down cribs were recalled in 1997, many of these cribs are still being sold at yard sales, thrift stores, eBay and other places. It has been reported that, despite the recalls, such cribs remained in use by daycares and parents who were never informed of the recall.
Parents who are unaware of the safety issues and past recalls often purchase the drop-down cribs due to the convenience. The cribs are designed to allow parents easy access for placing and removing infants and toddlers from the crib by lowering the side rail. In order to prevent further injuries and deaths from these cribs, the CPSC unanimously voted to outlaw any manufacturing and resale of such cribs.
Kids In Danger Supports CPSC to Tighten Standards on Crib Safety
Founded in 1998 after the death of a child who was strangled when a top rail collapsed, Kids In Danger has pushed for higher standards in both the manufacturing and testing of infant and toddler sleep equipment.
According to Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger, a total of 5.7 million products designed for infant and toddler sleeping were recalled between 2007 and 2009, despite having met the current safety standards. Although the CPSC increased standards and third party testing, drop-down crib use continues to be a problem.
Reusing, Reselling and Replacing Used Cribs
Infant cribs are expensive, often ranging in price from 200 to 1,000 dollars or more. For many parents, this is a huge expense for something that will not get much use after two years. It is natural for parents to hang on to the cribs for use with future children, pass them down to friends and family, or sell them to recover some of the cost.
Additionally, many parents attempt to replace missing parts or fix the crib when parts stop working. This poses a serious danger to the infant or toddler, regardless of how well the fix appears to be working. It is recommended, as with infant car seats, that used or damaged cribs be destroyed rather than given away or repaired.
Alternatives to one-time use cribs are available, such as those that convert from a crib to a toddler bed, cutting down on the high cost of replacing sleep beds every two years. Only purchase sleep products that are brand new and immediately fill out and return the product registration card. This will keep you informed of any safety issues or recalls.
If you are currently using a drop-down crib, immediately stop using it and find an alternative sleep environment for your child. Destroy the crib and do not attempt to sell or give it away. Not only is it a safety issue for the child, the CPSC’s decision makes it illegal to do so.
“After dozens of deaths, drop-side cribs outlawed”; The Associated Press; Dec. 15, 2010
“Nancy A. Cowles, executive director, Kids In Danger to CPSC Staff Roundtable on cribs and other sleep environments”; Kids In Danger; April 22, 2009
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