The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has approved new mandatory standards to address the hazards of cribs. In the last five years alone, the CPSC has announced recalls of over 9 million drop-side cribs due to hazards of strangulation and suffocation.
According to the CPSC, since January 2000 there have been 32 infant and toddler suffocation and strangulation deaths and hundreds of other accidents that were caused by or related to drop-side detachments in cribs.
The CPSC has determined that drop-side cribs are less structurally sound than cribs with four fixed sides and are prone to break, deform or experience other problems during normal use. If an infant or toddler moves into the space created by a partially detached drop-side, the child can become entrapped or wedged, potentially resulting in suffocation. It is also possible for infants to be strangled by the “V” shape formed by a drop-side that detached in the upper corner.
Safety hazards involving cribs have included drop-side hardware failures, drop-side entrapment issues, failures of mattress support, and detachment or breakage of the crib slats. These defects have the potential to cause entrapment or suffocation of babies. In addition, these hazards can lead to infants falling out of their cribs.
The CPSC has issued a ban on the cribs, which will go into effect in June 2011. The new safety regulations require that the four sides of a crib be rigidly attached to one another. Childcare facilities, hotels, and other places of public accommodations must have compliant cribs two (2) years after the publishing of the rule.
- Check your crib regularly.
- Make sure your crib has not been recalled.
- Do not use any crib with missing, broken, or loose parts.
- Tighten hardware from time to time to assure that the crib is sturdy.
- Check all sides of a crib for disengagement.
- DO NOT try to repair any side of the crib. Infants and toddlers have died due to repairs attempted by caregivers.
If a loved one has been the victim of an injury due to a drop-side crib, contact an injury lawyer at Swartz & Swartz, P.C. Call our Boston, Massachusetts office at (617) 742-1900, or toll-free at 1-800-545-3732.
By James A. Swartz of Swartz & Swartz, P.C. – Permalink