The traditional drop-side crib that was used when you were an infant, and likely when your parents were infants as well as what you have likely used as paremts, is about to become a thing of the past. Today, the Consumer Products Safety Commission, in a unanimous vote, decided to outlaw the cribs because they have a horrible track record on safety. The ban kicks in this June when all cribs sold will have to have four fixed sides.
More than 30 infants and toddlers have died, and untold numbers have been injured as a result of the drop side partially detaching from the crib frame. This creates a dangerous "V" shaped dead space between the side rail and the mattress which can lead to suffocation and strangulation. In addition to outlawing the drop-side design, the new standards require tougher testing before cribs hit the market to ensure that they can withstand the pressures of rambunctious toddlers and better labeling to ensure proper assembly.
I the last 5 years alone, more than 9 million drop-side cribs sold by Pottery Barn Kids, Evenflo and Delta Enterprises have been recalled. Under the new regulations, hotels and child care centers will have one year to replace drop-side cribs, but many will still be available in second-hand stores and in use in homes. If you have one, get rid of it if you can. If you simply can’t get rid of it, make sure the crib you have is not subject to a recall. If it is, follow-the instructions that go with the recall. If it is not, check the hardware on your crib to make sure all hardware continues to function properly.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.