Product Liability

CSPC outlines new guidelines for crib manufacturers, consumers

Bombarded with questions about new safety standards for cribs, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a flyer outlining the new, more stringent requirements for crib manufacturers and answering some of the most frequently asked questions from consumers. Most of the questions have been about the drop-sides of cribs, but CSPC says the new rule also encompasses a crib’s mattress support, slats, and hardware, all of which are required to be more durable. Crib manufacturers will also have to test to these new, tougher guidelines in order to prove compliance.

The guidelines were established by CSPC following numerous crib recalls due to injuries and deaths, mostly due to entrapment hazards in cribs with drop-sides. As a result, manufacturers of recalled drop-side cribs provided their customers with an immobilizer and repair kit for drop-side cribs currently in circulation.

The new guidelines strictly prohibit drop-sides on cribs. Wood slats also must be made of stronger wood to prevent breakage. Crib hardware must have anti-loosening devices to keep them from coming loose or falling off. Mattress supports must be more durable. And, all cribs will have to undergo more rigorous testing to prove they pose no safety hazards to infants.

The new standards go into effect on June 28, 2011, and require all cribs manufactured and sold (including resells) to comply with the new federal safety guidelines. The rules apply to both full-size and non full-size cribs.

The standards also apply to childcare centers and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels. These guidelines will be enforced by December 28, 2012. After this date it will be illegal for anyone – including consumers – to manufacture, sell, contract to sell or resell, lease, sublet, offer, or provide for use a crib that does not comply with these standards.

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