After the most recent in a long run of recalls of drop-side cribs, CPSC today issued their strongest warning to date about the dangers of drop-side cribs. Citing at least 32 deaths attributed to faulty drop-side design, CPSC says they are inherently less durable that fixed side cribs. CPSC is likely to follow the lead of the voluntary standard setting body, ASTM International, and ban the design in the mandatory standard due out by the end of this year.
In the warning on their blog, On Safety, CPSC states that many of the deaths happen when hardware fails — breaking or deforming, leaving a gap where a child can become entrapped. The incidents took place both before parents had realized the crib was broken and in some cases after parents attempted to fix the broken crib. In some cases, because of a poor design, the crib could be put together wrong – still working, but leading to earlier failure of the hardware. CPSC again warned parents against trying to fix cribs that break. Instead, contact the manufacturer for replacement parts, or perhaps a refund for the defective crib.
Many of the safety recommendations are also in our recent post on drop-side cribs. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office has also released a poster about drop-side crib hazards. Bottom line? Avoid drop-side cribs if possible and check them carefully and often both for recalls and broken hardware if you are currently using one.