Safety officials pursue ban on drop-side cribs
After 153 infant deaths in the past four years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission moved Wednesday to ban drop-side cribs, jump-starting the agency’s biggest overhaul of baby-bed regulations in almost three decades.
“There have been improvements in voluntary standards over the years,” commission spokesman Scott Wolfson said. “But this will be mandatory federal law.”
The commissioners voted 5-0 for stricter safety standards for mattress supports and a ban on drop-side cribs. The decision comes after the recall of 9 million such cribs since 2007 by various companies because of the risk of strangulation.
The popular drop-side cribs enable parents to raise and lower one side on tracks, providing easier access to the bed and minimizing back stress when picking up and setting down children.
But if a crib malfunctions and the side goes off-track, or if the crib is assembled incorrectly, a baby can suffocate by slipping into the resulting gap.
The push to ban drop-sides came as the safety commission announced the recall of 82,000 cribs from retailer Pottery Barn Kids. Pottery Barn Kids is offering free kits to immobilize the drop-side rail.