Pottery Barn Crib Recall Issued As CPSC Proposes New Crib Rules

About 82,000 Pottery Barn Kids drop-side cribs have been recalled due to a risk that infants may become entrapped and suffocate. The recall was announced on the same day that federal regulators voted to propose new crib safety standards in the wake of several infant deaths associated with the design of drop side cribs and other dangerous infant beds .

The Pottery Barn Kids crib recall was announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) after about 36 reports were received of the drop sides malfunctioning or detaching. At least seven children suffered minor injuries due to the defective drop-side cribs.

The recall affects all Pottery Barn drop-side cribs, regardless of model number. The cribs were exclusively sold through the Pottery Barn Kids catalog and at Pottery Barn retail stores for between $300 and $600 from January 1999 through March 2010.

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The recall is just the latest in a string of crib recalls issued over the past several years, most of which involved drop-side cribs. Since November 2007, there have been at least 36 infant deaths associated with defective crib designs, the majority caused by suffocation or strangulation when dangerous gaps were created by the drop-side of the crib. As a result of the problems, the CPSC has indicated that drop-side crib designs will be banned by 2011.

For the full size and non-full size cribs that remain on the market, the CPSC plans to propose new standards that are hoped to help prevent defective cribs from being sold. The rules are focused on more stringent pre-market testing for safety and durability. One of the major components would ban crib designers from re-tightening screws on cribs undergoing testing, in order to show the wear and tear on the cribs over time more accurately. The testing regimen would include more latch tests and side-impact tests for non-full size cribs as well.

“A crib should be the safest place for an infant or toddler to sleep. For too long, and for too many young children, this has not been the case,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “Far too many of these failures have brought pain and suffering that no parent should ever experience.”

Tenenbaum and the rest of the commission voted unanimously to have the CPSC go forward with the new rulemaking, which CPSC staff hopes to finalize for proposal before the end of the year.

Consumers who own one of the recalled Pottery Bark Kids drop-side cribs should immediately stop using the cribs, check to make sure the cribs are not broken, and contact Pottery Barn Kids at www.potterybarnkids.com to receive a free conversion kit that will immobilize the drop side.

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