Who doesn’t want things to be easier? As a parent, I certainly appreciate anything to make my life easier when it comes to child care. The problem is, when it comes to infants cribs, product manufactures may have taken consumers desire for ease of life a little too far.
Since the 1970’s crib manufacturers have added a ‘drop-side’ feature that allows a caregiver to easily access a child by lowering a side of the crib as opposed to using their lower-back for leverage.
Some crib manufacturers have begun to cut corners by using cheap components and particle board in the manufacturing process that puts infants in their drop-sided cribs at risk for severe injury or death from entrapment or suffocation.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has responded to steady reports of drop-sided cribs safety issues by recalling a whopping 10 million cribs since 2007. While no firm date has been set, most anticipate that the CPSC will prohibit the sale of drop-sided cribs and similarly ban their use in commonly used environments such as hotels and day-care facilities in the near future.
In defense of their products, crib manufacturers claim that their product is safe, and that the reported problems is related to errors on the part of parents who improperly assembled the cribs. However, even if the assertions that parent error is to blame, once the industry has knowledge that that the assembly problems are widespread it has a duty to re-design their products in a corrective way.
Even as drop-sided cribs stop entering the stream of commerce, they will continue to be around for years to come. Therefore, it is important for parents to acknowledge the documented dangers that are associated with these everyday devices. Here are some important crib safety suggestions from CPSC:
- Avoid using cribs that are 10 years or older
- Follow the manufacturer’s assembly instructions closely. If the directions are hard to understand or a part is missing, contact the manufacturer
- Perform crib checks regularly to make sure all nuts and screw are tight and the crib is not unstable
- Discard any obviously damaged crib
- If you do notice any problems with the crib, insist that the crib be repaired by the manufacturer or authorized representative
Here are some popular brands of drop-sided cribs that have been recalled:
- Pottery Barn Kids
- Simmins Juvenile Products
- Bexco Enterprises
- Jardine Enterprises
- Delta Enterprise
- Child Craft Industries
- C & T International / Sorelle
- Graco by LaJobi
- Generation 2 / Childdesigns
- Dorel Asia
- Stork Craft
- Caramia Furniture
What does this all mean?
If your family is dealing with a tragedy that involves a crib, I suggest that you speak with a lawyer who is familiar with handling claims against crib manufacturers. In some situations, you may be entitled to damages related to the injury or loss of a child.