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Why Are Drop Side Cribs So Dangerous? How You Can Protect Your Child

Posted by attorney Brett Emison

_ The Washington Post_ reported in May 2010 that the US will ban drop side cribs amid ongoing safety concerns.

The drop side crib has been on the US market since the 1950, although it is unknown how many are still in use. Because many cribs cost $1,000 or more, many are used repeatedly and handed down to family members, making it difficult to estimate their numbers.

From the FairWarning blog:

By the end of the year, it will be illegal in the U.S. to sell drop-side cribs and for places like daycare centers and hotels to use them. Repeat offenders of the ban, which comes after years of growing concern about the cribs, could face criminal penalties, The Washington Post reports.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has seen too many recalls and far too many deaths from defective drop side cribs in recent years. Since 2005, more than 7 million drop side cribs have been recalled because of suffocation and strangulation dangers. There have been at least 32 deaths from defective drop side cribs since 2000. Cribs are meant to be safe enough to leave a child unattended and when cribs malfunction, the infant is usually alone.

Safety advocates have been pushing for tougher crib regulations for nearly a decade, with little action. Federal safety standards for cribs have not been updated since 1982 (those infants are now nearly 30 years old).

Safety experts encourage anyone owning a drop side crib to examine it thoroughly. New cribs should be used without the drop side feature. Older or hand-me-down cribs should be discarded and replaced.

Parents: what do you think? Are you surprised that US crib standards have not been updated since 1982?

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