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New Safety Standards For Cribs Take Effect Today

Cribs with drop-down rails are banned from sale in the U.S.

Cribs with drop-down rails are banned from sale in the U.S., new or secondhand.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, CPSC, released rules which take effect on Tuesday concerning the manufacture and selling of baby cribs in the United States. Cribs which have the drop-down side rails are now banned from being both manufactured and sold in the U.S., and they cannot legally be sold secondhand either. The drop-down rail allows one side of the crib to be lowered or raised to enable easier access to the baby, but often the hardware for this mechanism is not as sturdy as it should be.

The CPSC announced this ban in December 2010, giving the industry time to adjust to the new requirements, which include the more rigorous testing of cribs and mattresses. The CPSC has found that the drop-side cribs are dangerous due to gaps which can sometimes form between the crib mattresses and the rail, suffocating the baby, or because of malfunctioning hardware, or incorrect assembly of the crib. The CPSC also points out that pillows, bumper pads and even blankets and toys are also a hazard for babies, as they can easily cause suffocation.

Parents and consumer advocacy groups are pleased at the new safety requirements, since there are many problems with cribs every day. One study quotes 26 babies and toddlers being injured every day in the U.S. in cribs, bassinets or playpens, and this excludes the baby deaths which occur each year and total about 100.

The CPSC has also had the assembly instructions of cribs improved, so that there is no doubt how the pieces of a crib fit together, as it was found many injuries, and even deaths were due to incorrect assembly.

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Pat has a lifelong passion for home and garden, cultivating her own extensive lawns and gardens and providing interior decorating advice.

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