On the heels of the largest crib recall in U.S. history, hundreds of thousands of children could be at risk to crib-related injuries, even death. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recently recalled 2.1 million drop-side cribs manufactured by Stork Craft, which was responsible for more than a dozen injuries and killed four children.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has reported dozens of deaths over the past decade involving drop-side cribs made by different manufacturers, but still, drop-side cribs continue to be very popular among parents. Unlike cribs with immovable parts, the design of the drop-side crib tends to experience more hardware failures than traditional cribs and accounts for the vast majority of cribs recalled in the past two years. While many parents may find that the drop-side eases access to the crib, more must be done to educate parents of the dangers the moving parts present.
Even more alarming is that most cribs recalled met current mandatory safety standards put in place by the federal government as well as voluntary standards suggested by non-government organizations. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is planning to revisit and will possibly revise these standards; however some consumer advocates believe these cribs should be banned altogether.
ASTM International, a U.S.-based standards-setting organization, proposed a ban on drop-side cribs and some retailers, including Toys-R-Us, have already discontinued them from their stores. Many consumer advocates, crib makers and other industry stakeholders also support the ban and advise against buying drop-side cribs.
Until the Consumer Product Safety Commission enforces new standards or bans drop-side cribs completely, we urge parents to avoid buying new or used drop-side cribs. For families who already own a drop-side crib, the key to preventing injury is to make sure the crib is properly assembled. Periodically check the hardware on their cribs to make sure they are in place and functioning according to the crib’s assembly instructions.