On December 15, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted to approve new mandatory safety standards for cribs. Starting this month, all importers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers must adhere to the safety standards and offer consumers only cribs that comply with the CPSC regulations. By the end of 2012, all childcare facilities, hotels, motels, and rental companies must use only cribs that meet the new safety requirements as well.
Since 2007, the CPSC has recalled more than 11 million cribs for some kind of safety hazard. Cribs with drop-sides and detaching side rails have been linked to at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. Additionally, there have been deaths associated with defective crib hardware.
The new safety standards address these problems. First, traditional drop-side cribs can no longer be made or sold, nor is it permissible for an old drop-side crib to be retrofitted in an attempt to comply with the new safety standards. Second, wood slats must be made of strong materials to prevent breakage. Third, hardware must be more durable and have anti-loosening devices. Fourth, mattress supports must be more durable. Finally, safety testing must be more thorough.
In a press release, CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said, “A safe crib is the safest place in the world for a baby to sleep. It is for this reason that I am so pleased that parents, grandparents and caregivers now can shop with confidence and purchase cribs that meet the most stringent crib standards in the world. From the start, our goal has been to prevent deaths and injuries to babies in cribs, and now the day has come where only stronger and safer cribs are available for consumers to purchase.”