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Drop-Side Cribs Banned in U.S.

Drop-Side Cribs will be banned effective June 2011, federal regulators have announced. The cribs have reportedly caused more than 30 infant deaths in 10 years, USA Today reports. Three cribs make it easier to get babies in and out, but have trapped and caused serious injury and death to infants, particularly, when the cribs have broken pieces.

Under the mandatory crib standards, federal regulators will: (1) stop the manufacture and sale of dangerous, traditional drop-side cribs; (2) make mattress supports stronger; (3) make crib hardware more durable; and (4) make safety testing more rigorous, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a press release. Effective June 2011, cribs manufactured, sold, or leased in the United States must comply with the new federal standards.

Drop side cribs can detach when their hardware breaks, creating a space into which a young child can become entrapped or possibly suffocated. Drop side incidents often occur due to improper assembly or wear and tear. In addition to at least 32 deaths in drop-side cribs, there were 14 deaths because of entrapment that could have been caused by a drop-side, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which issued the new crib standards.

More than 9 million drop-side cribs have been recalled since 2007, CPSC says, USA Today reports. The CPSC has repeatedly instructed parents not to use cribs with broken, loose or missing parts and to check to insure the drop side of the crib functions smoothly. You should never attempt to repair any part of a crib with wire, string, duct tape or rope.

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