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It's Official: Drop-Side Baby Cribs Have Been Outlawed

baby crib, baby cribs

The drop-side crib has been outlawed.

An icon of babyhood has been kicked to the curb. Drop-side baby cribs, which have brought 30 babies to their death in the last decade, were outlawed yesterday.

By a unanimous vote, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the manufacture, sale and resale of cribs that have a movable side.

This is good news for expectant parents — they can make plans to get an approved crib. But the ban leaves parents on their last months of crib-use needing to decide what’s best to do.

The Los Angeles Times explains that the drop-side was a feature that allowed parents to more easily reach infants and young children sleeping in the cribs, which had mattresses low enough to keep them from rolling and, eventually, climbing out.

But over the past decade, dozens of infants and toddlers have become trapped when the drop side separated from the rest of the crib and millions have been recalled in the last few years.

Now that the drop side has been outlawed, all cribs must now have fixed sides — a requirement that will go into place in June 2011. Hotels and childcare centers are also prohibited from using drop-side cribs, though the CPSC is giving them a year to replace their gear.

The agency is also requiring better testing of newly cribs requiring product safety inspectors to apply force to the bottoms and sides of cribs that mimic older babies and toddlers in the cribs.

Some 9 million cribs have been recalled over the last 10 years after more and more deaths were reported due to detaching parts in the drop side, which allowed a V-shaped opening for a child’s neck to slip into.

We own a hand-me-down drop-side crib, which my now 2-year-0ld (and very last) child is still sleeping in. Indeed, it’s on the slightly rickety side and the plan had always been to toss it in the trash once he moved into a bed. Last night, after reading about the ban, we went in and reinforced with duct tape the top and bottom corners at every point where one side met another (including the non-drop-side). It’s a step that we’re comfortable with. Like a lot of people, we aren’t going to buy a new crib just to use for a few months and this seemed the best strategy for us and the safety of our son.

Do you have a drop-side? What will you do in light of this latest safety measure?

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