The CPSC has recalled over 13 cribs and bassinets since the first of the year. Many feel that the CPSC is not aggressive enough in its recall measures, and that it is not sufficient to permit manufacturers to simply issue retrofit kits to satisfy the recalls. The Illinois Attorney General, Lisa Madigan, has taken matters into her own hands, and should be commended for her actions.
Here’s what’s happened. A company called Simplicity has had a lot of problems with recalls over the last year, some as a result of infant deaths. Due to the recalls, Simplicity was forced into bankruptcy. A company called SFCA, Inc, purchased the assets of Simplicity. That’s fine, except it appears that the only thing SFCA wanted to do was reap profits, and did not seem particularly interested in helping to save the lives of children. SFCA would not cooperate whatsoever with the CPSC recalls. Given that children’s lives are at stake, Madigan did not feel that the CPSC’s response to SFCA was sufficient, so she undertook her own action to force SFCA to stop marketing these dangerous cribs. She’s to be applauded.
AG Madigan has also put out a very useful guide for identifying which cribs have recently been recalled, as well as safe sleeping tips for infants.
Email Bryan Slaughter
Given all that is known about crib safety, and how long the industry has known about potential hazards, it amazes me that we still have a problem with dangerous cribs. Over the last month, there have been four crib recalls, all for entrapment and suffocation hazards. As is too often the case, it took the death or serious injury of a child for these recalls to happen. The recalled cribs are:
The Delta recall involves over 1,500,000 cribs. The danger involves missing or failing safety pegs for the drop rails. The CPSC is aware of two deaths and other instances of entrapment involving these cribs.
Whenever parents use previously owned/older cribs, they should make sure that they have all the hardware and that they are putting the crib together correctly. For instance, for some older cribs, it is possible to switch the mattress platform with the crib rails. If directions are not with the crib, parents should check the manufacturers website to see if they are posted there. Most importantly, use common sense. After the crib has been put together, look for any noticeable gaps. Also make sure that the drop rail, if there is one, is well attached and slides smoothly. Finally, make sure that there are no large gaps between the spindles where a baby’s head could become entrapped. One useful test — if a soda can can fit through the spindles, they are too wide.