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Tales From the Crib

Tales From the Crib

Now I am not usually moved to report on every one (or even most) of the countless and ceaseless amount of children’s toy and product recalls that hang over consumer consciousness like a dark cloud. From just a cursory glance, there seem to be anywhere from two to ten significant recalls a week, due to everything from safety concerns to gratuitous lead paint, and most of these just fly under the radar and become background noise or static in the parental society of mind.

However, the latest recall/amendment to the Consumer Products Safety Commission’s (CPSC) standards concerning crib safety is significant, if not semi-revolutionary, and worth noting.
The big news last week was the CPSC was dropping their support of dropside cribs (a baby crib where one or more of the sides slides down to allow easier access to baby). The new rules, set to go into effect in 2011, essentially would ban the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs, in addition to mandating better mattress support, sturdier hardware and better quality wood for crib construction. The troublesome, and serious, issue with these cribs is that children have often been hurt by faulty hardware of had serious entanglements with the dropside of the crib. According to CNN, Between November 2007 and April of this year, there were 36 deaths associated with crib structural problems, and just recently the CPSC announced that Pottery Barn Kids is recalling over 80,000 drop-side cribs due to entrapment, suffocation and fall hazards.

So wave bye-bye to the dropside, and give a big hello to the fixed gate crib (otherwise known as the “open-faced cage”). Does this change herald a new era of greatly improved crib safety, or does it just indicate that standards have been horribly lax for too long with the CPSC essentially asleep at the wheel? Should it really take 36 deaths (and numerous reported and unreported accidents) to get federal regulating commissions to realize something is not entirely copasetic with children’s cribs?

Read more: Babies, Children, Family, Parenting at the Crossroads, Pregnancy, , , , , , ,

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Eric Steinman

Eric Steinman is a freelance writer based in Rhinebeck, NY. He regularly writes about food, music, art, architecture, and culture and is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit among other publications.

32 comments

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11:13PM PDT on Sep 7, 2010

Or just don't buy cribs. Put baby in bed with you. Easy feeding / changing, and cuddling during night wakings, and no issues with cribs, bad mattresses, toys, cats, or anything else because you are right there.

4:01AM PDT on Aug 1, 2010

Thanks

11:36AM PDT on Jul 29, 2010

No cribs for my babies. They sleep with me.

11:02AM PDT on Jul 24, 2010

Interesting... hopefully parents will
be able to have a choice and choose
wisely.

1:55AM PDT on Jul 24, 2010

Thanks for the story.

1:36AM PDT on Jul 24, 2010

You know, I often wonder how us 'oldies' ever survived! We had cots that are now banned. We didn't have safety belts in the car. We slept with the family cat in our cot.( we had a miriad of grubby teddies in there with us too!) We had high chairs with no restraints. We were sent out to play by ourselves, outside, unobserved, from the ages of about three. We climbed trees unattended at six and if we broke our arms, we were told how dumb we were,and we should be more careful next time ( and we were!!) Our staple diet was bread and dripping ( animal fat!) we got a darned good slap if we did anything wrong and the teachers were really nifty with those rulers! You got a toy at Christmas and one on your birthday and a vannila ice cream in a cone was your annual treat! yet!! we all seemed to be skinny and healthy and lively and cheery and easy to please and were used to hardship and all that made life, as an older person so much happier. We just don't need expensive trashy 'THINGS" to make us happy! I really don't envy young kids today,, even 'though they seem to have so much!... Yes! I agree with most of these comments... For goodness sake, just make things STRONGER and they won't keep on collapsing! ( As long as you take the effort to fix them properly!)

2:24PM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

Thanks.

12:37PM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

Drop-side cribs have been around for generations, which means that MILLIONS of us grew up with them and came out just fine! Instead of banning drop-side cribs, why can't we simply demand that they be made out of better, sturdier materials like they used to be instead of settling for the cheap plastic crap made in China? Fixed-side cribs only work if you're a tall person and able to recover quickly from childbirth, and that definitely doesn't fit a lot of people! I'm only 5'3", and my husband is only 5'8" so a fixed-side crib would definitely not have worked for us! Not to mention the last thing a woman who's just given birth wants to do is anything involving bending over (especially if she's recovering from a C-section!). Banning all drop-side cribs is definitely a case of overkill!

We need to bring back manufacturing good, sturdy, quality-made items to the US instead of sending jobs overseas and paying the price for cheap crap!

5:30AM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

My son has a dropside crib and we have had no problems with it! My husband and I are short, so those fixed side cribs aren't for us! Also, we both have bad backs! Stop buying cheap products and buy well-made products and you don't have to worry about any safety issues! We didn't scrimp on the crib! You get what you pay for! Also, I wonder how many parents really kniw if they put together the crib correctly?! Why can't dropside cribs just be made safer( the cheap ones)?! The well-made heavy duty ones are just fine!

2:08AM PDT on Jul 23, 2010

Gee, great. So if I already have a bad back, I better choose to be childless so I don't have to deal with the crib side not falling down? Why don't we just make them better so we don't have to worry about it? Oh wait, a couple of them might have something wrong, or misuse it.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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