Bet you didn’t think of this wrinkle: When you stay at a hotel or leave your kid in daycare, do you have any idea of the make and model of the crib that will hold your baby, and how old it is? Or whether it’s been recalled?
I know. Like you don’t have enough worry, guilt, and angst in your life, this new wrinkle shows up. Because while these cribs are dangerous enough to not be sold, they're apparently un-dangerous enough to be used for years to come by professionals caring for our kids.
Here’s the deal: Side-drop cribs have been ruled unsafe, a fact you surely have heard once or twice by now.
Today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously to ban drop-side cribs. This will result n an estimated $600 million in costs to replace the cribs, but if it saves babies’ lives, obviously that’s great. Effective immediately, retailers will not be allowed to sell drop-side cribs.
However, daycares and hotels don’t have to replace their cribs for two years. The agency is giving them two years to scrape up the dough to replace their cribs, noting that many daycare centers are small businesses. Two years! And by the way: The average daycare center replaces cribs every ten years.
On the one hand, well, most of us with more than one kid have cribs that are a few years old and have stood the test of time. On the other hand, I know I can tighten the screws on a crib in my home, but I can’t vouch for daycare or the Holiday Inn.
And while I feel for the woman down the street with a home daycare, I don’t have the same compassion for a huge hotel chain. If they can afford those butt-ugly fortress-of-solitude chandeliers in their conference rooms, they can afford a fleet of new, safe cribs.
If my infant were in daycare, you can bet I’d be asking a lot of questions. But would those questions be answered? Most infant daycares here in San Francisco have waiting lists as long as your arm, and if they don’t like my attitude, there are plenty of takers.
Would you have thought to ask your day-care center how old their cribs are?
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