After a series of crib recalls over the past three years by the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, parents should think seriously about their crib purchases. In the latest wave, 2.2 million cribs from a total of 7 manufacturers were recalled last month in America. Mostly the unsafe cribs that are being taken off the shelves have “drop sides,” which allow for the convenience of varying the height of the side of the crib, but in flawed designs can create a gap for a baby to fall out or become stuck. In the past three years, at least 36 deaths were caused by flawed “drop sides” as well as other manufacturing flaws.
In light of the move of manufacturing to places where there is less regulation and the increasing use of cheap materials, many cribs simple are not built for real world children. Nancy Cowles, director of a nonprofit called Kids in Danger which focuses on children’s product safety, recommends buying "a crib with four fixed sides, the sturdiest you can afford.” This is especially important because while worrying about the price of the crib or the existence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in small quantities in the wood, we sometimes forget how essential construction is to a good product.
To learn more about crib safety, check out the Wall Street Journal’s article here.
Photo by Jamie Ivins of Flickr.