Oct 12, 2014 - Articles - by Dodson & Hooks, APLC
When parents cannot have their infants in their arms, they want to be sure that the cribs they leave their babies in will protect their children. Many parents have purchased drop-side cribs so they would have an easier time getting their babies in and out of the cribs. However, reports rolled in to the government safety regulation agencies that these cribs were causing serious injuries and even death to children who slept in them. Some of the injuries included babies getting caught in gaps between crib mattresses and the drop sides and suffocating and babies falling out of the cribs.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission responded by making new crib safety regulations for the first time in 30 years. Child care centers, hotels, motels and places of public accommodation needed to have cribs meeting these new standards by December 28, 2012.
Federal safety standards
As early as December 28, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission published new safety regulations for cribs in order to eliminate the serious injuries associated with drop side cribs. All cribs manufactured after June 28, 2011 needed to meet the new standards.
In addition to eliminating the dangerous drop-side feature of cribs, the new standards also included:
- Increasing structural integrity requirements for vertical slats
- Higher vertical mattress impact test standards
- Adding a horizontal cyclic test
- Banning wooden screws from key structural elements of cribs
- Reducing exposure to toeholds
- Requiring manufacturers to mark and label improvements
The CPSC did not require crib manufacturers to recall all drop side cribs they produced that do not meet these safety standards, however, so some parents who purchased cribs prior to June 28, 2011 may be keeping cribs that could harm their children.
Complying with the standards
Child care providers and those supplying cribs in places of public accommodation need to be aware that the new crib standards do not merely ban drop side cribs. Securing drop side cribs that these facilities currently have will not make these cribs in compliance with safety standards. They need to make sure that they can show that their cribs were manufactured after June 28, 2011 or provide a certificate of compliance from a certified third-party testing laboratory.
Speak with a lawyer
Babies depend completely on their parents to keep them safe. Parents need to be able to trust that the cribs that are newly manufactured as well as those available at daycare facilities and in places of public accommodation such as hotels meet federal safety standards. If your child has been injured by a crib, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you recover for your losses.