Following more than 30 infant deaths in the past decade, the government has made the decision to ban drop-side cribs. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted unanimously to ban the manufacturing, sales and re-sales of these drop-side cribs, which have two rails allowing the parent to slide a portion of the bed down to more easily access their infant. These cribs have come under scrutiny in the past several years due to the fact that they sometimes create a “V” like gap between the side rail and mattress, where a baby can get caught, resulting in suffocation or strangulation. The issues found with these particular drop-side cribs is found to be because of malfunctioning hardware, assembly problems and sometimes cheap plastic which results in the drop-side rail’s partial detachment.
CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum described the new cribs standard as one of the strongest in the world stating, “I believe these new standards will markedly reduce crib-related hazards and help to ensure that young children sleep more safely in their cribs.”
The new standards mandate that cribs will go through testing which better mimick the actions of a child in a crib; as children get older they are likely to shake on the crib and run and jump within the crib. New testing requirements will ensure that a crib can withstand the abuse inflicted by children. More stringent standards established regarding labeling of crib pieces will also take effect to ensure that misassembly issues are addressed – issues that can lead to the death of a child. The standard established to mandate that cribs must have fixed sides will take effect in June.
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who was intrumental in pushing this legislation to ensure the safety of infants in cribs stated, “These products are deadly, and this critically needed action will prevent further senseless deaths.”
-Contributed by Kori