Last year, the government issued new crib safety standards, replacing standards that had not been updated in nearly 30 years. Since 2007, the CPSC had recalled more than 11 million cribs, most of which have been drop-side cribs. Detaching drop-side cribs have been associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. The new crib standards now ban the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs. Other provisions included in the standards will require stronger mattress supports, more durable hardware, and more rigorous safety testing.
The new standards will be effective in June of this year for all cribs manufactured, sold, or rented in the U.S. As this date approaches, the CPSC has received a number of questions on the new standards and in response, they issued a Q&A on their blog, OnSafety, last week. If you have a child in a crib or are planning to purchase a crib, it’s worth a read. If your child will be growing out of their crib soon and you’re thinking about selling or donating it, the new standards will apply to you too. Below are a few of the highlights:
- The new crib standards are effective June 28, 2011 and apply to all cribs, used and new, sold in the U.S.
- New cribs may be available for purchase before June 28th, but you’ll need to ask the retailer or manufacturer whether the crib you are considering meets the new standards.
- Traditional drop-side cribs will not meet the new standards. You may be able to obtain an immobilizer from the manufacturer or retailer to secure the drop-side, but it will still not meet the requirements.
- The CPSC has issued the following recommendations if you have a traditional drop-side crib and you continue to use it:
- Check CPSC’s crib recall list to see if it has been recalled.
- Check the crib frequently to make sure all of the hardware is secured tightly and that there are no loose, missing, or broken parts.
- If your crib has a drop-side rail, stop using that drop-side function and request an immobilizer if available. Immobilizers will vary depending on the crib.
- Consider another option such as a portable play yard, so long as it has not been recalled.
- If you decide to stop using your crib, drop-side or not, you cannot sell or donate a crib that does not meet the new standards. Instead, the CPSC says you should disassemble it and discard it.
- All daycare facilities, home daycares, and places of accommodation like hotels and motels have until December 28, 2012 to be compliant with the new standards.
You may be asking yourself, how do I know if my crib meets the new standards? Unfortunately, I don’t think you’ll be able to determine that. The details of the rules issued by the CPSC have this to say in response to a comment submitted which asked if they would provide a method of checking whether current cribs meet the new standards:
“Because the crib would be destroyed in the process of testing, it is impossible to test each crib. Therefore, we cannot provide methods to check existing cribs for compliance with the CPSC’s new crib standards. We also note that retrofits that would be appropriate for a recall might not be sufficient to meet the requirements of the new standards.”
There goes the resale market! My 1 year old is currently in a drop-side crib. For the near term, we plan to continue to use it and check it frequently and then discard it when she moves up into a big girl bed. If you have a drop-side crib, what do you plan to do?
Perhaps you can do what this resourceful owner did…
Massive Crib Recall Announced: What You Should Know
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Fantastically Funny Friday (2/25/2011) – Brilliant Baby