Dropdown Crib Recall To be Announced

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Parents who own a dropdown crib are urged to take precautions and if possible stop using the crib because it may be unsafe, even deadly. According to several news sources, including CBS News and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a massive recall of dropdown cribs will be announced tomorrow.

This is not the first time dropdown cribs have been recalled, and their safety has been questioned for years. In fact, more than 4.6 million cribs have been recalled since 2007. In July 2009, the CPSC announced the recall of 400,000 dropdown cribs manufactured by Simplicity Inc. In that case, one death was attributed to the crib: an 8-month-old child from Houston, Texas, became trapped between the dropdown side and the crib mattress when a plastic connector on the drop side broke. The child suffocated. An additional 25 incidents involving detachment of the dropdown side were also reported.

A recall of about 535,000 Stork Craft Baby Cribs was announced in January 2009, and was later revised to include 92,000 with the Fisher-Price logo. The CPSC reported that 10 incidents occurred in which one or more mattress support brackets broke. In several cases, the broken bracket caused the mattress to collapse and create a gap between the crib dropdown rails and the mattress. No deaths were attributed to these dropdown cribs. Several other crib manufacturers have also had recalls in the past.

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In both recall cases, consumers were urged to immediately stop using the cribs and to find a safe alternative sleeping environment for their child. In the case of Stork Craft, consumers were told to contact Stork Craft to receive a free replacement kit, with new mattress support brackets. For the Simplicity dropdown cribs, consumers were given similar information, but were told to return the crib to the place of purchase for a refund, replacement or store credit.

According to Early Show Consumer Correspondent Susan Koeppen, fixing dropdown cribs is not good enough: now there is a major drive to ban these types of cribs entirely. CPSC Chair Inez Tenenbaum noted on the Early Show that while “parents like the convenience of having the side drop down,” the manufacturers are not making the hardware “substantial.” Until now, crib manufacturers have been following voluntary safety standards for cribs, but Tenenbaum noted that “We find that is no longer enough. We will now be writing….(proposing) federal regulations that are mandatory for cribs.”

Koeppen advised parents who have a dropdown side crib to check to see if it has been recalled in the past. The CPSC recommends that parents check the hardware on their crib to see if it seems solid. If the side rail can be moved back and forth, it poses a potential danger. Parents should stop using the side rail and lock it in place. The best solution: stop using the crib and find an alternative, safe place for your infant to sleep if possible, until the new crib recall is announced and replacements can be secured. Parents can also check recall information from Stock Craft and Simplicity on their websites to check model numbers of cribs recalled in the past.

SOURCES:
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Early Show, CBS News, Nov. 23, 2009

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