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By the Editors of Pregnancy
“Hey—what happened to all the drop-side cribs?
Cribs with one moveable side that allows easier access to baby, known as drop-side cribs, have been notoriously recalled over the years—most recently in November 2009, when Stork Craft recalled 2.1 million of them. Wondering if your nephew’s hand-me-down crib will be safe for your baby? A drop-side crib is safe, says the Juvenile Products Manufacturer’s Association, if it’s properly assembled and working correctly.
But it’s important to know that drop-sides are more susceptible to recalls because they have more hardware and moving parts than other models. This may be why you’re seeing fewer of them from manufacturers and in magazines such as Pregnancy. In fact, the crib subcommittee of ASTM International, an organization that creates safety benchmarks for consumer goods, recently voted to eliminate drop-sides from its standard.
Editor’s note: As of 7/14/2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted to essentially prohibit traditional drop-side cribs from being sold in the United States: http://cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10301.html
Tips for staying safe, no matter the crib:
Proper assembly is crucial! Read and follow the manual, making sure you’ve attached every part correctly. If there’s any step you’re not sure about, call the company for help. Don’t use any crib with missing, broken, improperly installed, or loose hardware.
When you reassemble an older crib for a second or third child, re-check that all parts are installed according to the instructions. The company can provide you with replacement hardware and instructions if you need them.
Make sure all moving parts operate smoothly, including drop-sides. Check all sides and corners of the crib to make sure the drop side engages. Make sure there’s no gap that could entrap your child.
Inspect and tighten hardware periodically to ensure the crib stays sturdy. Don’t repair any side of the crib with hardware that isn’t from the original manufacturer, and don’t prop broken sides up against a wall.
Occasionally check to see if your crib has been recalled at www.cpsc.gov. More than 5 million cribs, bassinets, and play yards have been recalled in the past 2 years, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission.