A new generation of safer cribs will now be the only cribs available for sale at retail stores across the country. Anyone who manufactures or sells baby cribs is required to meet new and improved crib safety standards approved by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) late last year. The CSPC is an independent agency of the U.S. government created in 1972 through the Consumer Product Safety Act to “protect unreasonable risks of injuries associated with consumer products.”
The guidelines were established by the CPSC following numerous crib recalls due to injuries and deaths, mostly due to entrapment hazards in cribs with drop-sides. Millions of drop-side cribs were recalled and manufacturers provided customers with an immobilizer and repair kit for the cribs currently in circulation.
The new guidelines strictly prohibit drop-sides on cribs. Wood slats must also 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 also be more durable. And, all cribs will have to undergo more rigorous testing to prove they pose no safety hazards to infants.
The CPSC says the new guidelines replace standards established nearly 30 years ago, and are the toughest crib safety standards in the world. “Parents now can shop for a crib with confidence,” Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum told the Associated Press.
All manufacturers and retail stores are ordered to comply with the new standards immediately. Daycare centers, hotels and companies that rent cribs have until Dec. 28, 2012, to purchase cribs that meet the new safety standard.