Around the time my twin sons turned one, we learned their cribs had been recalled because there were reports the drop side could break and injure or entrap an infant. Our emotions ranged from panic – oh no, they’ve been sleeping in dangerous cribs – to anger – they’ve been sleeping in dangerous cribs! After that, we began following the recall notices published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (they have a handy sign up so you can receive email notices when new recalls are announced). It seemed like in the few years following our own experience, many more drop sided cribs were recalled for being unsafe. So it was no surprise when the CPSC announced new crib safety standards.
According to the CPSC, beginning on June 28, all cribs sold in the U.S. must meet new federal requirements(pdf). There are 5:
- Traditional drop-side cribs cannot be made or sold
- Wood slats must be made of stronger woods to prevent breakage
- Crib hardware must have anti-loosening devices to keep it from coming loose
- Mattress supports must be more durable
- Safety test must be more rigorous
So what do you do if you have a drop sided crib, or what if your daycare uses one? Well, check out the Q&A on the CPSC’s website for more helpful info about the new standards and what it means for parents. Here at American Family Children’s Hospital, the Kohl’s Safety Center is also a valuable resource. Staff there can help answer questions, and talk to you about what to look for (and quick plug – they have lots of child-proofing equipment at great prices).
We were fortunate not to have any problems with our old cribs (though I doubt they would have survived three-year-old boys pretending to be gorillas). And, in a way, it made me pay closer attention to safety information instead of taking it for granted an item is safe.