Monday, 19 July 2010

CPSC Moving Faster Toward a Ban on Drop-side cribs

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has accelerated its plans to phase out unsafe drop-side cribs from the market altogether. This week, the agency announced a notice of proposed rulemaking for crib standards. On Wednesday, the commission voted 5-0 to approve the new proposed mandated standards for crib design. The standards are meant to address the dangers that have been associated with the use of drop-side cribs over the past couple of years. The dangers include strangulation, entrapment, suffocation and fall hazards associated with the use of these cribs. The standards were approved in consultation with the ATSM, manufacturers, consumer safety groups, and other children’s product experts. Basically, the standards will ban traditional cribs from having a drop-side.

The continued danger to children from the use of the drop-side cribs in particular, was evident last week when Pottery Barn Kids announced a recall of all its drop-side cribs. Approximately 82,000 cribs are included in this latest recall of cribs. According to Pottery Barn Kids, the drop-side can become detached because of malfunctioning or wearing out of the hardware. That resulted in the children becoming entrapped between the mattress and the drop-side. Several children got their legs entrapped between the mattress and the drop-side, while one child was stuck at the head, but was freed in time

The Pottery Barn recall includes all drop-side cribs sold under the Pottery Barn name, regardless of the model number. These were sold through the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, and online at They were also sold at the Pottery Barn Kids retail stores nationwide between January 1999 and March 2010. Pottery Barn Kids advises that consumers must immediately inspect the cribs involved in the recall, and see whether the hardware is broken. If the hardware is intact, they must contact Pottery Barn Kids to receive a free conversion kit that will immobilize the drop-side. These immobilization devices are meant to keep the drop-side in place, and prevent it from moving up and down. This eliminates much of the risk from the crib design.

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