Drop-side cribs banned after infant deaths

Dec 16, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. ET

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has banned the sale, re-sale or manufacture of all cribs with a drop-down side after 32 infant deaths since 2001.

drop side crib safety recallWhat is a drop-side crib?

Drop-side cribs have one side that slides up and down making it easier to get baby in and out of crib, however babies can get trapped in the gap created on the drop-down side resulting in strangulation or suffocation.

The new federal crib standards, including stronger mattress supports, sturdier hardware and more rigorous safety testing, will take effect in June. Childcare centers and hotels using drop-side cribs will have one year to purchase new ones.

Recalled drop-side cribs

In June of this year, 2 million drop-side cribs were recalled and an additional 1.5 million drop-side cribs have been recalled since last January before this ban finally took place, which included companies like Evenflo, Delta, Enterprise Corp., and Pottery Barn Kids.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says this ban will prevent future infant deaths. "Time and time again, drop-side cribs have trapped and suffocated infants, destroying families across the country. These products are deadly, and this critically needed action will prevent further senseless deaths."

Drop-side cribs have been criticized for using malfunctioning hardware that caused the drop-side rail to partially detach from the crib, causing a "v-like" gap between the rail and the mattress. A baby could easily roll into this gap and get stuck resulting in strangulation.

What should you do if you have a drop-side crib?

If you are using a drop-side crib, make sure it is not on the crib recall list.

>> Click here to get the list from the CPSC or call the manufacturer of your crib

If it was recalled, refer to the manufacturer or the CPSC website for replacement or refund instructions. If you have a crib that is not on the recall list, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association says properly-assembled drop-side cribs that are not on the recall list can be safely used; however, you may want to purchase a new crib that doesn't have drop sides.

Hotels have one year to make the switch – so call ahead. If they still are using drop-side cribs you may want to bring a pack-and-play for your child to sleep in. Check in at your daycare or childcare facility to find out when they plan on making the switch.

>> For more information, check out the CPSC site for more news on drop-side cribs

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