CPSC Takes Step Toward Ban on Drop-Side Cribs

After two million cribs have been recalled this year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has proposed new rules that would ban the manufacture, sale and resale of drop-side cribs, which are cribs with a side rail that can be raised and lowered. The rules also would forbid drop-side cribs at motels, hotels and childcare facilities.

The movement to ban drop-side cribs came after the CPSC recalled 82,000 cribs sold at the popular retailer Pottery Barn Kids. Over the past five years, the CPSC has announced 18 recalls covering more than nine million drop-side cribs.

The CPSC has agreed to develop new standards that make four fixed sides mandatory for all cribs. It also proposed more stringent testing for cribs and their durability. These will be the first new standards for cribs in 28 years.

Drop-side cribs, which have been used for years, have recently come under scrutiny because they pose a suffocation or entrapment risk. Hardware problems can develop, causing the drop-side rail to partially detach from the crib. The detached portion can create a "V"- shaped space between the mattress and the side rail where a child can get caught and possibly suffocate or be strangled.

According to the CPSC, at least 32 children have died when their drop-side cribs malfunctioned. Another 14 deaths may be linked to faulty drop-side cribs. More than 250 consumers have reported problems with drop-side rails to the CPSC between 2000 and 2009.

Parents who have lost a child due to a malfunctioning drop-side crib may have the right to sue for money damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. If your child has suffered injury or death from a faulty drop-side crib at home, at daycare or while traveling, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to investigate any legal claims you may have.