Over the last five years, there have been 11 recalls involving more than seven million cribs with drop-sides, because the side rail can malfunction and create a space big enough for a child to strangle in. This summer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously in favor of new proposed mandatory standards for cribs.
Since then, I have read numerous articles and blog posts in which people state their belief that the impetus for these new standards originates from fear-based campaigns. I’ve read that government “pressure” to recall all drop-side cribs is created by “hysteria”. I’ve read about concerns for manufacturers and retailers being “stuck” with unsellable inventory, liability insurance issues and increased lawsuits. There are also those who are concerned that an immediate ban will create a hardship for day care centers and people who shop at thrift stores.
Only those that have experienced how awful it is to find their child injured from an unsafe crib and/or endured the horror of losing their child understands the importance of safety standards and consumer awareness. Between November of 2007 and April of 2010, there were at least 36 deaths associated with crib construction. Hundreds more children have been injured.
There are so many horrifying stories about people who never imagined their child’s crib could be dangerous, let alone deadly place. It is for those children that have been injured and/or lost their lives and the families that are forever broken, that aggressive action ridding the U.S. marketplace, American homes, hotels and day care centers of all these types of cribs is absolutely necessary.
If faced with a choice, I don’t believe anyone (not manufacturers, retailers, hotels, daycare centers and certainly not families) would trade a crib for the safety of a child. If you use a crib with a drop-side, it is important to check to see if it’s been recalled. If it has been recalled, or if it has loose or missing parts, you should immediately stop using it.