Another crib recall and new standards to be adopted
Delta Enterprises on October 20, 2008, recalled almost 1.6 million cribs made in China, Indonesia and Taiwan. The New York company announced that two infants had died in its cribs, but provided no details. The company produced two different types of cribs, which were marketed between 1995 and 2005 but are no longer available in stores. The company is working to make replacement parts for one of the models available to consumers. The CPSC issued another, smaller, recall of cribs last week in response to an incident in which a five-month old suffocated after becoming trapped between the mattress and the crib side of a Playkids U.S.A. crib.
Two days after this latest recall, it was announced that the federal government and the Consumer Product Safety Commission were finally going to draft new safety standards for cribs, particularly those with drop-sides. Particularly needed are standards for durability, given that cribs are frequently passed on to other families after the purchaser's infants have grown. In the past two years there have been five separate recalls of millions of baby cribs, resulting from poor design, inadequate assembly instructions or defective components. They have caused a number of infant deaths and injuries.
Currently, the ASTM (an independent standard-setting entity based in Pennsylvania) has promulgated voluntary standards on post height and warning labels to complement the mandatory standards on the space between slats. Consumers Union spokesman Donald Mays noted that consumer advocates had pushed for a more comprehensive set of standards for most of the past decade. Underwriters Laboratory has developed a "rocking test" similar to the test used by the Canadian government to help set durability standards, but thus far no manufacturer has sought UL approval of its cribs.