By: AboutLawsuits | Published: November 24th, 2009
About 2.1 million drop-side cribs sold under the Stork Craft and Fisher-Price names have been recalled after reports of the drop-side separating from the crib, posing a risk of entrapment and suffocation for infants.
The Stork Craft drop side crib recall was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Monday. It is the largest crib recall in history, including about 2 million Stork Craft drop side cribs and another 147,000 Fisher-Price drop side cribs that were also manufactured by Stork Craft Manufacturing, Inc.
The cribs were sold between January 1993 and October 2009 for between $100 and $400 by major retailers including Wal-Mart, Sears, Kmart, J.C. Penney, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Meijer, USA Baby, Amazon.com, Babiesrus.com, Costco.com, Walmart.com and Target.com.
If the drop side of the crib breaks, deforms or detaches, it could create a gap between the side of the crib and the mattress where an infant could become trapped. If the drop side falls off completely, it could also pose a risk of the child falling out of the crib.
The CPSC and Health Canada have received a total of 110 reports where the drop-side detached; including 67 detachments in the U.S. and 43 in Canada. In 15 of the cases, the infants were entrapped, in 20 cases children fell from the cribs, and there were also four reports of infants 9-months old and younger suffocating in the defective cribs. Therefore, parents have been urged to immediately stop using the cribs and contact Stork Craft to receive a free repair kit that will change the crib from a drop-side crib to a fixed side crib.
The recall includes all Stork Craft drop side cribs that use a plastic trigger and one-hand drop-side system. Some have the insignia “storkcraft baby” or storkling” on the drop-side teething rail. The Fisher-Price cribs have the “Fisher-Price” logo on the teething rail and the assembly instruction sheet attached to the mattress support board, as well as on the end panels of the Twinkle-Twinkle and Crystal crib models.
The recall is the latest in a number of drop side crib recalls by a variety of manufacturers in recent years. It is also the second Stork Craft crib recall this year. In January, more than one million cribs from Stork Craft were recalled due to metal support brackets that could break and cause the mattress to collapse.
As a result of the repeated problems with drop side cribs, many manufacturers and retailers have begun moving away from the design. Toys R’ Us decided in April to phase out the crib design, and several major crib manufacturers agreed in March to support a proposed drop-side crib ban.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding drop-side cribs is that they are not sufficiently durable. In addition, many parents reuse the cribs for multiple children or pass them down to other family members. When the cribs are disassembled and then reassembled the risk of defects causing dangerous conditions increases greatly and many of the cribs are inexpensive and built without durable parts.
Safer alternative designs are available, which still allow parents to have easy access to the infants, including “drop-gate” cribs. Instead of having the entire side of the crib slide down, a drop gate crib hinges the upper portion of the side rail on one side of the crib, allowing it to fold down outside the crib. However, the portion of the side of the crib at the level of the baby remains rigid and firmly attached to the rest of the crib.