More on crib safety
What is it with the crib industry that it cannot build a safe product? Numerous blog entries on this site have addressed the multiple crib recalls over the past three years. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a column in the July 13 edition summarizing the problem.
Thirteen childrens' deaths have been reported in cribs and bassients recalled by Simplicity, Inc., alone, in the past couple of years. No one systematically collects this data and experts believe the number of childrens' deaths is actually much higher. Deaths usually result from gaps created as a result of drop-down side hardware, mattress support hardware or slat failures.
Some 4.7 million cribs sold by a dozen manufacturers have now been recalled: most manufactured in China or India. The use of plastic hardware and errors in re-assembly of used cribs are frequently culprits in injuries and deaths. The paper also noted that most product recalls are ineffective in actually pulling dangerous products out of the stream of commerce, and a prior web log entry documented research showing that fewer than one in ten defective products is actually surrendered after a recall.
ASTM, an industrial standards group will be sponsoring a meeting of its crib safety committee in July: stark evidence of the inadequacy of industry groups' inability to adopt reasonable standards in advance of consumer injuries and public outcry. The existing standards are voluntary, and clearly inadequate since many of the recalled cribs were "approved" by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association.
Consumers can investigate crib safety by calling 1-800-638-2772 or visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission website at www.cpsc.gov. For advice on how to identify safe and unsafe cribs, consumers are directed to www.kidsindanger.org.