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Drop-side cribs banned after dozens of deaths

December 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The government outlawed drop-side cribs on Wednesday after the deaths of more than 30 babies in the past 10 years.The Consumer Product Safety Commission's unanimous vote banned the manufacture, sale and resale of the cribs, which have a side rail that moves up and down.

The new standard requiring cribs to have fixed sides takes effect in June.

Under the ban, hotels and childcare centers have a year to purchase new cribs.

This video from the consumer product safety commission demonstrates how the hardware on some drop-side cribs leaves a dangerous gap between the mattress and side rail where the baby can get caught.

Drop-side cribs have come under scrutiny because of malfunctioning hardware, sometimes cheaper plastics, or assembly problems that can lead to the drop-side rail partially detaching from the crib.

When that happens, it can create a dangerous "V"-like gap between the mattress and side rail where a baby can get caught and suffocate or strangle.

The new standard mandates tougher safety testing for cribs, tests that more closely mimic a child in a crib. As children get older, they can apply more force to the crib - shaking on it, running around in it, jumping up and down. The new tests aim to make sure the cribs can take that kind of pressure.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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