As parents or caregivers of children, many of us feel our children are in the most “safe place” when they are in their cribs. They are not running around or in a moving vehicle in harm’s way. They are contained in a safe environment. This is the parent’s or caregiver’s time to take a breather and relax, knowing that their child is safe and sound. Well, we may be wrong.
Many parents own or know someone who owns a baby crib that is designed to allow either one or both sides to be lowered (called a drop-side crib). These cribs were built to make it easier and/or more convenient to pick the child or infant up from the crib. Although it may make life a little easier, recent incidents prove these types of cribs can be an extreme danger. So much of a danger that on Wednesday, December 15th, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), announced a ban on all drop-side cribs. The ban specifically says these products can no longer be manufactured, sold, or re-sold in the United States.
This decision from the CPSC comes as no surprise to many safety experts. The past year has seen just shy of 3 million of the drop-side cribs recalled, the largest such recall in history. Since 2000 there have been 32 infant or toddler deaths, with another 14 fatalities suspected. This recall has been long overdue.
The hazard is that the drop-side of the crib can become loose, and eventually, can detach from the crib itself. This creates a “V”-like gap between the rail and the mattress, where the baby can be strangled or may suffocate.
Parents may ask, how would the side rail ever come loose? It actually happens easier than one may think. For instance, the child in the crib or a sibling outside the crib may loosen it by pulling or shaking on the side rail. Also, if a child runs or jumps around in the crib, it eventually can become loose. A parent may inadvertently not secure the drop-side rail back in place after use. Even a small mechanical error when assembling the crib rail can contribute to this issue. Overall, the risks far outweigh the benefits of these cribs.
Therefore, we strongly recommend to all parents and agree with the CPSC, these cribs should not be used. If you are able to purchase a new crib, we recommend you buy a crib with ?xed sides. Please discard the drop-side crib rather than donating or loaning to make sure others aren’t harmed by the crib. If replacing the drop-side crib is not a feasible option for you, we recommend you secure the crib with screws or use an “L” bracket to make sure the side rail will not budge. Also, you may want to call the store where you purchased your crib to make sure they are aware of the recall and find out what options you have in returning it and seeking a refund.
While we realize we cannot always prevent every accident, we want to help ensure that as parents, we are doing everything we possibly can to keep our children safe and secure. So, let’s take every step in making that happen.
For more information on this recall, please visit the CPSC website: http://www.cpsc.gov/