Consumer Alert -- Drop-Side Cribs Banned

After recalling more than 11 million dangerous cribs since 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently voted unanimously to ban so-called "drop-side" cribs as part of the first update of federal crib standards in nearly 30 years. The CPSC expects the new rules to usher in a safer generation of cribs.

Once they become effective in June 2011, the mandatory crib standards will: (1) Stop the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs; (2) make mattress supports stronger; (3) make crib hardware more durable; and (4) make safety testing more rigorous.

The new federal standards will apply to all cribs manufactured, sold or leased in the United States. Child care facilities and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, must have compliant cribs in their facilities within 24 months after the rule is published.

Detaching drop-side rails have been associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000, and additional deaths have occurred due to faulty or defective hardware.

For additional information on crib safety, recall announcements, and tips for creating a safe sleep environment for baby, parents and caregivers are encouraged to visit the CPSC's crib information center at www.cpsc.gov/info/cribs.