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If you are an expecting mother, or parent of a newborn, infant or toddler, you should be aware that last week the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the manufacture, sale and resale of cribs with a drop down rail.
The cribs were initially designed with this drop down feature to make it easier for children to be lifted out of their cribs. However, as the result of malfunctioning hardware, sometimes cheaper plastics, or assembly problems, the drop-side rail can partially detach from the crib. When that happens, it can create a dangerous "V"-like gap between the mattress and side rail where a baby can get caught and suffocate or strangle. According to yahoo.com, “drop-side cribs have been blamed in the deaths of at least 32 infants and toddlers since 2000 and are suspected in another 14 infant fatalities. In the past five years, more than 9 million drop-side cribs have been recalled, including cribs from big-name companies such as Evenflo, Delta Enterprise Corp., and Pottery Barn Kids.”
In addition, the new standards set by CPSC will also prohibit hotels and childcare centers from using drop-sides. Be sure when using cribs in these locations to check that the cribs are up to standard.
I have a side drop crib. I have used it for all three of my boys. My youngest son is now old enough that the drop side is removed and it is used as a toddler bed. The danger is gone but I am grateful that no accidents occurred when my boys were infants. I have never actually used the drop-down side on my crib. I was always too paranoid that I would forget to put it back up so I made it a habit from the very first baby to never use it. Keep in mind that even if you don’t use the side, the crib could be at risk to malfunction. I will admit that if I had a new baby, I would purchase a new crib. I cannot image how horrific it is for the parents that have lost their children this way.
According to these new standards, this also means that you cannot resell or donate your drop side crib. Check your local area for where you can recycle the crib materials.
Let’s constantly push for high product standards to keep our children safe.