Stories about: suffocating in a crib

Why ban drop-side cribs?

Lois Lee, MD, MPH
Lois Lee, MD, MPH

The first time I took my friend Julie to a national baby supply/furniture chain store, her eyes glazed over as soon as we walked in. After a few minutes in the packed aisles, with boxes towering from floor to ceiling, stuffed with equipment and toys just for babies, she was ready to leave. “This is overwhelming. How can anyone possibly know what to buy?” she said.

But that confusion was precisely the reason I was invited on this particular shopping excursion. Being a pediatric emergency medicine doctor and mother to a 1-year-old at that time, I knew my way around a baby store. I knew exactly what we were (and weren’t) looking for.

Still, despite our clearly defined mission, like Julie I was slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of products available. With so many choices for all the things you need/want to buy, how does a new parent begin to choose? Even with my background, I felt a little taken aback by it all. After some searching we eventually found her the perfect crib and I was glad I came along to help; besides picking out a car seat, finding a safe crib is one of the most important pieces of equipment a new parent will buy. Making the right choice is crucial.

To keep cribs safer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just released its new standards for safe cribs. According to their mandates, all cribs sold after June 28, 2011 must meet these new standards, which 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.
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