Drop-side cribs with plastic hardware were recalled and banned all in one day this past Tuesday, November 24, 2009. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., of British Columbia, Canada, this announced the voluntary recall of more than 2.1 million Stork Craft drop-side cribs, including about 147,000 Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo.
The dangers to infants include suffocation and falls if the drop-side either separates from the mattress, creating a gap, or falls off of the crib. The recall involves only those cribs with plastic trigger and one-hand-system drop-side hardware. It does not involve any cribs with metal rod drop-side hardware.
CPSC urges parents and caregivers to IMMEDIATELY stop using the recalled cribs, wait for the free repair kit, and do not attempt to fix the cribs without the kit. They should find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby. Consumers should contact Stork Craft to receive a free repair kit that converts the drop-side on these cribs to a fixed side. Also on November 24, 2009, Suffolk County passed a ban on the sale of such cribs within the county, effective in February 2010.
The ban is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States. Nassau County officials are considering a similar law. A bill proposed by Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) is scheduled for a hearing Dec. 7, and a vote on the ban likely would be scheduled Dec. 21. In addition, on November 15, the American Society for Test Materials (ASTM) International, a nonprofit organization that sets voluntary industry safety standards for everything from toys to the steel used in commercial buildings, approved a revision to crib standards that recommends drop-side cribs no longer be made.
ASTMs new standard requires four immovable, or fixed, sides for full-size cribs a big step toward eliminating the manufacture of new drop-side cribs since the industry group won’t certify them. The cribs drop-side plastic hardware can break, deform, or parts can become missing. In addition, the drop-side can be installed upside-down, which can result in broken or disengaged plastic parts.
All of these problems can cause the drop-side to detach in one or more corners. When the drop-side detaches, it creates space between the drop-side and the crib mattress. The bodies of infants and toddlers can become entrapped in the space which can lead to suffocation. Complete detachment of drop-sides can lead to falls from the crib. CPSC, Health Canada, and Stork Craft are aware of 110 incidents of drop-side detachment; 67 incidents occurred in the United States and 43 in Canada.
The incidents include 15 entrapments; 12 in the U.S. and three in Canada. Four of the entrapments resulted in suffocation; including a 9-month-old in Bronx, N.Y. Included in these incidents are 20 falls from cribs. Fall injuries ranged from concussion to bumps and bruises. The cribs involved in these incidents had plastic drop-side hardware that had broken, missing, or deformed claws, connectors, tracks, or flexible tab stops; loose or missing metal spring clips; stripped screws; and/or drop-sides installed upside-down. Sellers of the recalled cribs including BJs Wholesale Club, J.C. Penney, Kmart, Meijer, Sears, USA Baby, and Wal-Mart stores and online at Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, Costco.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com from January 1993 through October 2009 for between $100 and $400. The cribs were manufactured in Canada, China and Indonesia.
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