Safety of­fi­cials pur­sue ban on drop-side cribs

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

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.

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