Dads are Drop-side Cribs safe for your baby?

Is a drop-side crib safe to use in your home? Many people like the idea of the drop-side because it makes getting your child in and out of the crib much easier. For shorter parents it almost seems like a necessity. However, drop-side cribs while convenient have not had a very good track record lately. The Federal Government has began to take steps to try to eliminate them altogether from stores, hotels and daycare centers. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) is pushing for new rules that would ban the sale or re-sale of these cribs. The bans would include any crib where the side can be raised or lowered. The reason behind the push for a ban came on the heels of an 82,000 crib recall by Pottery Barn citing a risk of suffocation or getting trapped in the crib. Even though they have been used for decades, drop-side cribs have come under fire recently because of hardware problems. A dangerous “V-shape” gap between the mattress and rail is the biggest concern about the crib. Since 2000 at least 32 deaths have been caused by drop-side cribs with another 14 suspected to have been. With over nine million recalls in the last five years including two million in June of this year by Evenflo and several other companies a ban on these cribs is looking more and more likely.

As manufacturers start to phase out drop-sides, some retailers are already refusing to carry them. Babies R Us was among the first stores to ban the sell of them in their stores. The manufacturing issues are not the only thing contributing to the safety concerns. New dads need to know that assembly errors, loose screws and missing parts can make the crib unsafe for your child. Especially if you are re-assembling it for a second child. If you are going to store any crib to use again make sure all parts and instructions are accounted for. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association that represents over 90% of the crib industry is cooperating with and supports all of the new CPSC commissions efforts. Many feel that one of the biggest problems with the new drop-side is the use of inferior parts when compared to the older models. So remember dad that drop-side crib may look like an easy way to save you and your wife time and effort when getting your baby in and out of bed, but it isn’t all it is cracked up to be. With your babies safety always your first concern looking at a more traditional fixed-side crib is your best choice. As a dad myself having raised three kids and with my crib days now behind me, I certainly would have welcomed some good information when picking out the right crib for my kids. Good luck with your new baby and remember when it comes to drop-side cribs, just say no.