Infant safety is taking a big step forward today as new Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) rules take effect banning drop-side cribs.  Manufacturers and stores that sell cribs can no longer make or sell drop-side cribs. 

From 2005-2010, the CPSC recalled more than 9 million drop-side cribs.

The manufacturers must also make the mattress supports stronger, improve slat strength, make crib hardware more durable, and make safety testing more rigorous.

It’s the first change in 30 years to crib standards and comes after dozens of infants died. Between January 2000 and 2010, the CPSC says 32 infants and toddlers lost their life due to drop side cribs. They either suffocated or strangled when the drop side crib detached.  In some deaths, the crib detached without an adult noticing, and in other cases, the consumer tried to repair the drop side but ultimately failed.

Another 14 kids died from entrapment in a crib that could be related to a drop side. The CPSC could not tell by the provided information if the drop side was involved in the death.

Courtesy Consumer Product Safety Commission

The CPSC says drop-side cribs are not as structurally sound as a crib with four fixed sides. Also, the hardware is prone to break or cause other problems. The older the crib, the more problems consumers had.

While drop-side cribs will no longer be on the market, the second component of the law will not apply to December 28, 2012. This impacts child care facilities in the home or at a center, hotels, motels, and rental companies. The extension was made because the CPSC says an additional 935,000 cribs will be needed for all these facilities, and there was concern that would put a demand on the system that couldn’t be filled in time. The cost to replace all the cribs is expected to be around $467 million.