US Bans Drop-Side Cribs After Fatalities

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — The government has officially banned the sale of drop-side cribs following years of recalls and fatal injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to ban the manufacture and sale of all cribs built with a drop-down side which allows an easier way for parents to pick up their children, but these models proved to be far more dangerous than cribs without a sliding side. All cribs will be required to have fixed sides by June of next year.

As we reported earlier this year, children have been injured or killed after their heads became trapped between the headboard and the moving side of the crib, or from having a faulty piece of the drop-side crib come loose and fall on them.

In total, the CPSC reports that 32 infants and toddlers died from drop-side cribs during the previous decade, and a whopping 9 million of these cribs have been recalled in the last five years alone.

"I believe these new standards will markedly reduce crib-related hazards and help ensure that young children sleep more safely in their cribs," Inez Tenenbaum, the CPSC Chairman, said after the vote.

The CPSC’s ban also applies to hotels and child care centers that provide cribs, but they will have 18 months to replace their stock of drop-side cribs with safer alternatives.

For the time being, the CPSC recommends that parents check its website cpsc.gov to see which particular models have been recalled, and to inspect any other cribs they own to make sure there are no faulty parts.

While this move is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, it’s important to note that regular cribs can pose risks as well, if they are put together incorrectly.

As MainStreet’s Althea Chang wrote in July, “When you look at a crib that has been put together, check for parts that look like they may come loose and become a choking hazard or possible areas of entrapment or suffocation.”

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