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Drop-Side Cribs Banned Due to Safety Issues

Cribs Were Blamed for Dozens of Infant Deaths Over the Last Decade
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Dec. 15, 2010 -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission is banning cribs with drop-down sides because they have been blamed for the deaths of at least 32 infants since 2001.

The announcement from the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who has pushed for such a ban, says new federal crib standards will take effect in June, stopping the sale, manufacture, resale, and distribution of drop-side cribs.

The new rules also will prohibit drop-side crib use at motels, hotels, and child care facilities.

The announcement was made in Washington by Gillibrand, Inez Tenenbaum, chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and the parent of a child said to have died because of a faulty crib.

The CPSC’s new standards also will require mattress supports to be stronger, crib hardware to be sturdier, and more rigorous safety testing of baby beds.

The CPSC, the government’s top regulator of children’s products, says cribs with drop-down sides have hidden hazards that can cause strangulation or suffocation.

Numerous Recalls

The CPSC’s board voted unanimously to ban the drop-side cribs, which have been under scrutiny for many years. They have always been popular because the drop-side moves up and down and allows parents to lift infants from the cribs with ease.

Drop-side cribs have been recalled by the millions. In June alone, more than 2 million were recalled. Since last January, about 1.5 million cribs have been recalled, not counting those in June, according to the statement from Gillibrand’s office.

That statement says Gillibrand and Crowley launched an effort in Congress to ban all drop-side cribs and that today’s announcement addresses a requirement in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 that calls for all major juvenile products to have the strongest possible mandatory safety standards.

“Enough is enough,” Gillibrand says in her statement. “Time and time again, drop-side cribs have trapped and suffocated infants, destroying families across the country.”

She says the products “are deadly” and the new rules will save lives.

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