It seems to be the year of improved safety recommendations for children’s products. After the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration completely revamped its car seat recommendations earlier this year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently overhauled its standards for cribs.
The new standards, which have been in the works for a couple of years now and were unanimously approved at the end of 2010, went into effect on June 28. Some of the highlights for the new standards include:
- Stopping the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs
- Strengthening mattress supports and crib slats
- Requiring crib hardware to be more durable
- Making safety testing more rigorous
Some of these new standards are a direct response to recalls and injuries that the CPSC has noted over the last several years. Since 2007, more than 11 million dangerous cribs have been recalled and since 2000, at least 32 infant strangulation and suffocation deaths were reported in connection with drop-side cribs and detaching side rails. Faulty hardware in cribs has been linked to additional deaths. Crib safety standards had not been evaluated in more than 30 years, meaning that the new standards really usher in a new generation of safer cribs.
The new standards are effective immediately for distributors, manufacturers and retailers, meaning that if you purchase a new crib today, it must comply with the new set of standards. Other businesses, such as child care facilities, family child care homes, infant Head Start centers, hotels and motels, and rental companies have until December 28, 2012 to fully transition to the new standards.
The CPSC has put together a Crib Information Center for consumers to learn about the new crib standards, why they were put into effect, and what they can do to make sure that their infants and children sleep safely.