An ASTM International committee comprised of major crib makers is pushing
forward a proposal to ban drop-side cribs. Among the reasons for this
is that there have been over three million cribs recalled since the fall
of 2007 and a number of child injuries and deaths have occured because
of cribs that were poorly designed, incorrectly assembled, or came with
defective or missing crib parts.
Entrapment and strangulation have been known to occur when a drop-side crib has malfunctioned, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that over the past 18 months there have been at least three child deaths involving drop-side cribs. The CPSC also reports that there have been over two dozen incidents involving the drop-sides detaching from the cribs, which can lead to serious fall accidents injuries.
Drop-side cribs have one side that can be lifted and lowered. They are especially popular among parents and other adults who are shorter or have back issues. The cribs are known for their ease of use.
The ASTM consumer product committee has to approve any proposal regarding a drop-side crib ban and it might take a year for the order to become effective. The ban also would only be applicable to new cribs.
One committee manager said the group has also talked about dealing with the problem of “slat integrity,” referring to wooden slats and spindles on a crib that might break, causing an infant to become strangled or entrapped. ASTM International’s standards are established with feedback from crib makers, users, industry stakeholders, consumer advocacy groups, testing labs, and government regulators.
Last year, Delta Enterprises recalled 1.6 million drop-side cribs because of potential spring peg and safety peg failure. This was the fifth recall since the fall off 2007 involving cribs. Other brands of drop-side cribs that have been recalled include Simplicity, Jardine, Bassetbaby, and Graco.
Since the Delta recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has been
warning consumers to check their older cribs for potentially dangerous
hazards. The CPSC also has been trying to determine how cribs can be better
made and if mandatory crib safety standards need to be improved.
No More Drop-Side Cribs?, MSNBC, March 19, 2009
Crib Makers Propose Ban On Drop-Side Cribs, NPR, March 18, 2009
Major manufacturers propose ban on drop-side cribs, Chicago Tribune, March 22, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Our products liability law firm handles many cases for clients whose young children were injured because of a defective crib or another infant or nursery product. Please contact Gilbert & Ollanik, PC to request your free case evaluation. We represent products liability clients with injuries to minors cases in Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, and other US states.