Drop-side cribs are “deadly hazards” linked to the deaths of at least 32 infants since January 2000, according to U.S. regulators who plan to ban the drop-crib design.
C&T International/Sorelle recalled 170,000 cribs yesterday after reports of bruising and abrasions.
Over the past five years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced 11 recalls for more than 7 million drop-side beds according to a statement today. They are investigating several manufacturers for crib-design hazards.
As part of a regulation on infant-bed design that will be completed this year, the agency will ban manufacture of this type of crib, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said yesterday in an interview with Bloomberg.
Parents like drop-side cribs because one side can be raised or lowered on tracks, making it easier to reach into the bed. But when the hardware fails and a side detaches, infants can suffocate or be strangled.
The statement warned “parents and caregivers about deadly hazards with drop-side cribs.”
The CPSC said 32 deaths were caused or related to drop-side cribs in the past 10 years. An additional 14 reports of infant fatalities resulting from entrapment may be related to the design, although evidence is insufficient, it said.
A proposed regulation on crib design will require stronger wood and more rigorous tests of the hardware, Tenenbaum said. A voluntary ban on the cribs, taking effect June 1, has already prompted companies to stop selling th drop-side models.
The plastic in some models didn’t survive the frequent motion by parents raising and lowering the side of the crib, according to the CPSC. The older the crib, the more possible problems.
On April 29, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Target Corp. and Babies R Us recalled cribs with tubular metal mattress supports after the agency received 13 reports of collapses and a death from suffocation.
Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc. recalled 2.1 million cribs on Nov. 23 after four infants became trapped and suffocated. Simplicity Inc. recalled 400,000 cribs in July.
Regulators didn’t go so far as to suggest that all drop-side models are hazardous. But the agency did say that the drop-side design is “more prone to mechanical failure than similar designed fixed-side cribs.”
CPSC reminds parents not to use any type of crib with missing, broken, or loose parts. Be sure to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy.
Parents should check their cribs’ hardware and joints regularly, the CPSC said. Older cribs and those that have been assembled and reassembled repeatedly are more likely to have damage or missing parts.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772.