The government has released new crib regulations, and this time they are even stricter than in the past. In regards to the drop-side cribs, the manufacture and sales of these is completely banned. All four sides of a crib must now be fixed and unmovable. If you currently have a drop-side crib, you can still use it, as it is not illegal; however, it is strongly advised by safety regulators to make sure to check the crib frequently for loose or broken parts. Better yet, though, purchase a new crib. While times are tough, it’s hard to put a price on the life of a child.
Since 2000, drop-side cribs have been responsible for at least 32 infant deaths, in which the crib slats became loose and created gap between the mattress and the crib side, where babies would get trapped. Other deaths have occurred as a result of defective hardware. In the last four years, more than 11 million cribs have been recalled as they have been deemed dangerous.
These new rules also include crib-makers needing to strengthen slats and mattress supports, and add anti-loosening devices to keep hardware from coming loose or falling off. Previously, government regulations allowed crib manufacturers to go in and tighten the screws in the middle of tests simulating how a crib is shaken by a tot – this seems ridiculous, as a parent isn’t about to go into a child’s room in the middle of the night to tighten those screws! Now cribs will have to pass these tests without any adjustments.
It is now illegal to sell or even donate a crib that doesn’t meet the new safety regulations. Hotels, day cares and any companies that rent cribs have until the end of 2012 to use the old kind. Of course, though, if you’re dealing with any of these kinds of places, it might be best to check into the type of crib used ahead of time. I know, personally, we are out of state this week, and when we arrived at the hotel, I was thankful to see that the hotel crib was not a drop-side, as I would not have been comfortable with that.
Keep in mind that drop-side cribs that are currently on the market are not being recalled, although because of these new regulations some manufacturers are pulling their cribs off sales floors. Some companies have even gone as far as to provide customers with immobilizing tools for drop-side cribs, but again, I must ask, isn’t it worth it to scrounge up the money to purchase a new crib? For a list of companies providing immobilizing tools, you can visit the CPSC link here http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2010/12/crib-immobilizers-who-to-call/.
What do you think of these new safety regulations? Is your child still in a drop-side crib? If so, will you be purchasing a new one?