WEDNESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- A ban on drop-side cribs
announced Wednesday by the U.S. government comes after millions of
recalls and the deaths of more than 30 infants and toddlers in the
The unanimous vote by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission forbids the manufacture, sale and resale of the cribs,
which feature a side rail that moves up and down. The requirement
that all cribs have fixed sides takes effect next June, the
Associated Press reported.
The use of drop-side cribs by hotels and childcare centers will
be prohibited but those businesses will be given a year to buy new
Since 2000, drop-side cribs have been blamed in the deaths of at
least 32 infants and toddlers, and are suspected in another 14
deaths. In the past five years, more than 9 million drop-side cribs
have been recalled in the United States, the
Drop-side cribs have been popular for decades but have become a
serious safety issue in recent years due to assembly problems and
malfunctioning hardware that can cause the drop-side rail to
partially detach from the crib. This can create a "V"-like gap
between the side rail and mattress where an infant can get trapped
and suffocate or strangle.
The CPSC also ordered tougher safety testing for cribs and
improved labeling on crib pieces in order to reduce assembly
mistakes that could put children at risk, the
The new crib standard is one of the strongest in the world and
will greatly reduce crib-related hazards, according to CPSC
Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
Parents of children who died due to problems with drop-side
cribs welcomed the ban, even if it didn't come soon enough.
"Yes, it's a long time coming," Chad Johns of Roseville, Calif., told the AP. "But the fact that it is happening -- that's what is important."
Johns' 9-month-old son Liam died in a drop-side crib in
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers
advice about cribs.