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On Parenting
Posted at 03:14 PM ET, 06/29/2011

New crib standards may mean junking the old crib

Think a hand-me-down crib will save some money? Considering handing down or selling that beloved crib that’s been in storage? Bad ideas, both.

Beginning this week, new regulations make it illegal to make, sell — or re-sell— drop-side cribs and many other cribs currently in use.

The stricter new regulations [pdf] went into effect Tuesday after being approved last December by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after it reviewed evidence that included reports of at least 32 infant deaths since 2000 due to drop-side cribs.

News of the suffocation danger posed by drop-side cribs, all the rage just a few years ago, has been percolating for months. But the crib market is a tough one to reach.

Most new parents don’t start paying attention to parenting news until after they become parents, and then not for a while as the first several months are usually a blur that does not include getting updates from the CPSC.

If those parents are like most people, life never lets up enough for them to get around to those updates. A Consumer Reports survey earlier this year found that less than one quarter of Americans ever researched a product to see if it had been recalled. The survey also found that “only one-fifth of U.S. adults were aware of having purchased food, medication, or a product (other than a car) that was recalled in the past three years.”

What’s different about these new crib regulations is that they target the manufacturers and retailers. With no one selling substandard cribs, hopefully, soon-to-be-parents won’t have the option to buy one.

As part of the rollout of the regulations, the CPSC teamed with the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Keeping Babies Safe campaign to produce this video about safe sleeping.

Once baby is sleeping safe at home, parents should turn their attention to the other cribs a baby may use. Daycare centers and hotels, for example, have another 18 months to comply with the new standards.

For parents who have older cribs and are looking to reuse them for siblings or have decided to sell or give them away, it’d be a good idea to find out if the model meets the new standards. It’s more than the lack of a drop-side feature, the crib also now has to include sturdier features such as stronger slats, better hardware and better mattress support. The manufacturer should know if the model is in good standing.

To find out if the crib has been one of the 11 million that’s been recalled in the last four years, check the Web site, Recalls.gov. An official recall usually means the manufacturer will replace, repair or refund the product.

Any questions left? The CPSC has a full Web site on all things crib safety.

By  |  03:14 PM ET, 06/29/2011

 
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