Beginning June 28, 2011, new federal safety standards prohibit the manufacture or sale of drop-side rail cribs. Crib safety standards have not been updated in nearly 30 years and these new rules are expected to improve the quality of cribs and make them safer for babies.
But drop-sides are not the only changes. The new regulations also require that all new cribs have stronger slats and mattress supports, better quality hardware, and to undergo more rigorous testing.
Since 2007, over 11 million cribs have been recalled. In addition, drop-sides were associated with 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. These new standards will help prevent these tragedies and keep children safe in their cribs.
Child care centers, family child care homes, and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels have until December 28, 2012 to comply with these new rules.
What Parents Can Do
Please consider getting a new crib for your baby. If that is not possible, the AAP and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encourage you to check the crib frequently to make sure that all hardware is secured tightly and that there are no loose, missing, or broken parts. Also be sure to:
- Check CPSC’s crib recall list to make sure that your crib has not been recalled.
- Stop using the drop-side rail of your crib. If the crib has been recalled, see if you can get a free immobilizer from the manufacturer or retailer (immobilizers vary depending on the crib).
- Consider using a portable play yard, so long as it is not a model that has been recalled.
- As always, keep items like pillows, cushy bumper pads, quilts, comforters, stuffed toys, and positioning devices out of the crib.
Re-sale of Cribs
Keep in mind that these new rules also apply to the re-sale of cribs, including at garage and rummage sales, on online auction sites, or even by donation to thrift stores. Unsafe cribs should be disassembled and thrown away.
For more information on choosing a safe crib for your baby, click here.
You can also find more details about the new regulations from the CPSC here.