Government Bans Dangerous Drop-Side Cribs

After 32 tragic deaths and years of lobbying by heart-sick parents and consumer advocates, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission yesterday banned the manufacture, sale and resale of drop-side cribs. In the past decade, 32 infants and toddlers in Philadelphia and across the country have been tragically suffocated or strangled to death in drop-side crib accidents. These cribs are also implicated in the entrapment deaths of another 14 children. The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. urge parents of young children to immediately stop using drop-side cribs and make sure that these hazardous cribs are not in use by their child’s day care provider.

A long-time industry standard, drop-side cribs have a kick plate connected to one of the side crib rails. When the plate is kicked, the crib side drops down, allowing parents to easily lift a child out of the crib. Investigations following infant deaths have found that the stress of repeatedly raising and lowering the crib side can cause hardware to weaken or break, allowing the drop side to separate from the crib structure and come off its track. Babies and toddlers can fall into the resulting gap and hang or suffocate to death.

A 2007 investigation by the Chicago Tribune led to the recall of one million drop-side cribs with several subsequent recalls eventually affecting more than 7 million drop-side cribs. As their dangers received increased publicity, the cribs began falling out of favor with parents; and manufacturers began offering more cribs with fixed sides. New safety standards proposed last year threatened to ban the use of drop-side cribs in hotels and day care centers. In response, major crib manufacturers voluntarily agreed to halt the manufacture of drop-side cribs earlier this year.

Yesterday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission finally enacted proposed safety standards and banned the manufacture, sale and resale of drop-side cribs. The ban will affect more than 59,000 day care center and 43,000 hotels which have 2 years to comply.