Consumer Warning: Drop-Side Cribs Potentially Fatal

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Congress is considering a total ban on the manufacture and sell of drop-side cribs. The fact that Congress is even discussing this indicates how truly dangerous they must be, because, as we all know, the United States Congress moves at a glacial pace (read “slow as cold molasses as we say in Kentucky) and the fact that Congress is even now addressing the issue indicates how serious the hazard of drop-side cribs must really be.

Those of us who are parents of older children most certainly raised our children using drop-side cribs. They saved us from an untold number of backaches. No doubt none of us would have used them had we only known what a terrible danger they posed to the safety of our babies, the most precious things on Earth to us. When my children were infants, I was aware of a potential danger of having too much space between the mattress and the crib railings. We were told by our physicians that an infant could scoot between the mattress and the side of the crib and become wedged there and suffocate. The test was to make sure you could get nothing more than your fingers between the mattress and the side of the crib. The current danger being investigated is similar, but occurs when a piece of hardware from the crib is missing or the drop-side is installed incorrectly, which can easily occur.

Representative Kirsten Gillibrand from New York is leading the charge in Congress. “There’s a great urgency here. We have to make sure that no parent is unaware that drop-side cribs could kill their children,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in an Associated Press interview. There have already been recalls of hundreds of thousands of cribs recalled. At least 32 young children have strangled or suffocated in the past nine years due to defects and other problems of drop-side cribs. Even one death is too many. Although drop-side cribs may soon be obselete, they will still be found at yard sales, which may pose a problem for unknowing parents. Before buying any such product, I recommend you check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website to verify the product you intend to buy has not been recalled and doesn’t pose a safety risk for your child.