Drop-side cribs are used by many parents in the U.S.. They use drop-side cribs, because it’s easier to pick up and lay down a baby, and it also makes it easier to access the mattress to remove and add new sheets. Unfortunately, that easiness comes at a cost. The overall design and concept of drop-side cribs is flawed, at least when it comes to the safety of babies. They are susceptible to entrapping and suffocating babies.
As with all good engineering (and re-engineering), it’s possible to fix those safety issues – not all drop-side cribs are considered dangerous. However, the dilemma that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission faces, is whether they should spend resources on researching and enforcing a better design, or ban them altogether. The U.S. CPSC has decided to do the latter, and I don’t blame them. Not only would new drop-side crib standards be costly to research and develop, they still may not work.
Ban on Drop-Side Cribs
In a recent press release by the U.S. CPSC, they announced the proposal of new rules that will ban drop-side cribs. They expect to finalize the new mandatory rules in 2010, making the rules go into effect soon thereafter. The new rules include better testing standards, and improvements in overall mattress support. They did note that the new rules do not affect playards.
Moving forward, parents will now have to ask the question, “should I use an existing or used drop-side crib, or buy a new one that falls within the U.S. CPSC‘s standards?” The answer will ultimately depend on affordability, and whether or not it’s a decision that a parent can live with – in the chance that an accident does occur.