Drop-side cribs are now illegal to manufacture, sell, or even donate in the US, and all cribs sold in the US—new or used—are now subject to the most stringent safety standards in the world. That's the upshot of the new crib safety standards put in place on June 28, 2010, by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
This move is a "great victory for consumers," says CPSC Commissioner Robert Adler. New standards were first voted on in December 2010 in response to serious infant safety concerns related to drop-side crib use. Since 2000, 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths were associated with drop-side cribs, according to the CPSC, and over 11 million cribs have been recalled in the US since 2007.
While all cribs for sale in the US must now comply with new rules or be taken off store shelves (true even for secondhand or children's consignment shops), childcare facilities, including family childcare homes and infant Head Start centers, as well as places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, and rental companies have until December 28, 2012, to phase in cribs meeting new crib standards.
Besides dropping drop-side cribs in favor of standard, fixed-side cribs, new standards call for strengthening mattress supports and crib slats, requiring crib hardware to be more durable, and making safety testing more rigorous. "A safe crib is the safest place for a baby to sleep. It is for this reason that I am so pleased that parents, grandparents, and caregivers now can shop with confidence and purchase cribs that meet the most stringent crib standards in the world," says CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
"From the start, our goal has been to prevent deaths and injuries to babies in cribs, and now the day has come where only stronger and safer cribs are available for consumers to purchase," adds Tenenbaum.