CPSC Launches Crib Safety Campaign as 40K More Cribs Recalled

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has launched a campaign to educate new and expectant parents on crib safety. The effort was announced the same day the federal safety regulators indicated that more than 40,000 drop side cribs are being recalled by three different companies.

Cribs are a leading cause of nursery-product related deaths, with the CPSC aware of more than 30 crib-related deaths and hundreds of injuries. According to the safety agency, about one-third of the deaths result from structural failures of the crib, and a majority of the deaths are attributed to the presence of extra bedding in the crib.

On Friday, the CPSC announced that it was collaborating with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Keeping Babies Safe (KBS) New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and journalist Joan Lunden to produce a new crib safety video aimed at helping all new parents avoid suffocation, strangulation and entrapment risks in baby sleeping environments.

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“By spearheading a comprehensive training program for health professionals on safe sleep practices and distributing the video to hospitals nationwide we will help educate new parents before they leave the hospital,” said Joyce Davis, President of Keeping Babies Safe.

Drop-side cribs pose a particular safety risk, with millions of the cribs being recalled in recent years. Problems with the designs of many drop-side cribs may allow moving parts to become loose or fall out, creating a gap that can trap or suffocate the infant.

In addition to the safety video, the CPSC also announced on Friday that 40,650 Ethan Allen, Kmart and Angel Line drop side cribs were recalled after a number of child injuries were attributed to the cribs.

The largest recall involves 34,000 Victory Land Heritage Collection 3-in-1 drop side cribs sold exclusively at Kmart stores nationwide between February 2007 and October 2008 for about $130 each. The rail on these drop-side cribs could malfunction, detach or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop-side to detach from the crib and create a space between the side and the mattress where an infant’s head or body may become trapped.

The CPSC and Victory Land Group, which manufactured the cribs, have received at least 17 reports of the drop-side rail detaching from the crib, with at least three infants suffering injuries after becoming entrapped.

About 3,250 Ethan Allen drop-side cribs were recalled for similar reasons. Ethan Allen has received at least five reports of the crib’s drop-side detaching, with one child becoming entrapped and two falling out of the crib. The recall involves certain Ethan Allen brand cribs sold for between $550 and $900 from January 2002 through December 2008.

Another 3,400 drop side cribs manufactured by Angel Line were recalled due to problems where the hardware may malfunction causing the drop side rail to detach or otherwise fail. This recall involves various models sold through web retailers between December 2004 and January 2009 for about $140. The cribs have “Longwood Forest” or “Angel Line” and the model number printed on a label on the crib’s headboard.

To create a safe sleep environment for a baby, the CPSC crib safety video suggests that parents follow these tips:

  • Place infants to sleep on their backs
  • Use a firm, tight-fitting mattress
  • Never use extra padding, blankets or pillows under baby
  • Remove pillows or thick comforters
  • Do not use positioning devices – they are not necessary and can be deadly
  • Regularly check cribs for loose, missing or broken parts or slats
  • Do not try to fix a broken crib
  • Place cribs or playpens away from windows and window covering cords to avoid fall and strangulation hazards
  • Place baby monitor cords away from cribs or playpens to avoid strangulation


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