If you have a drop-side crib in your home, now is the time to throw that death trap out. After way too many deaths due to drop-side cribs, the U.S. government made these deadly cribs illegal. The Consumer Product and Safety Commission unanimously voted today to ban cribs that have a side rail that moves up and down, and it's not a moment too soon.
Since the year 2000, 32 infants and toddlers have been killed by malfunctioning drop-side cribs, and at least 14 other deaths are suspect due to the killer cribs. We've seen recall after recall after another infant needlessly lost his or her life, whether by crib malfunction, inappropriate assembly, or cheap materials allowing a "v" shaped gap between the mattress and the crib, allowing a baby to get trapped and suffocate.
The ruling will go into effect in June of 2011, so here's what you should do until then.
1) Call the manufacturer of your drop-side to see if it hasn't already been recalled. If so, ask for the instructions for a refund or a replacement.
2) If you have a non-recalled crib, check to make sure all of the hardware is fully functional. Or better yet, get rid of it.
3) If you're staying at a hotel make sure your crib is not a dangerous drop-side. Call ahead if necessary and be a pest.
4) Hotels and day care facilities have one year to remove all drop-side cribs from their possession, so also check your day care or sitter's house to make sure they aren't using a recalled or dangerous crib.
While this ban has come too late for the families who lost their babies, it's still a win for parents everywhere trying to keep their little ones safe.
Do you have a drop-side crib?
Image via CPSC