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Baby Cribs are Now Required to Meet Tougher Standards

By Valerie Baldowski
Baby Cribs are Now Required to Meet Tougher Standards

The winds of change are sweeping over the crib industry.

Going forward, parents, caregivers, and businesses that make cribs available to the public are expected to abide by newer, more stringent federal standards regulating cribs. That means child care facilities, foster homes, retail outlets, churches, hospitals and the hotel/motel industry will need to follow the new rules.

By Dec. 28, 2012, public facilities will be required to use only compliant cribs meeting the newer safety standards.

Those five standards include strengthening the side slats, making stronger hardware, making the mattress supports more durable, halting the sale of traditional drop-side cribs and requiring more stringent testing of cribs.

The new rules went into effect in June 2011, so consumers still using older model or unsafe cribs will have time to bring themselves into compliance.

The standards apply to full size as well as smaller cribs. The new regulations are not just a ban on all drop side cribs. In the wake of so many crib recalls and crib-related injuries and deaths, they are a concerted effort by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ensure cribs on the market are safe for children. Shoppers looking at cribs can ask the retail store or the manufacturer if the crib complies with 16 CFR 1219, which regulates full size cribs, or 16 CFR1220, which regulates smaller cribs.

Manufacturers are now required to test their cribs against the new standards and certify that they comply, and they must provide that certification to the retailer. Consumers shopping for a crib at the retail outlet can view the certificate of compliance accompanying the product, and make their decision accordingly.

Individual crib recalls are not linked to the passage of new governmental regulations, but are voluntary efforts by the manufacturers to cooperate with the CPSC and pull offending cribs off the market when they discover the product has a defect or a flaw. Recalls have been issued on drop side as well as fixed side cribs, but the older model drop side cribs do not meet the new standards.

A good practice is to check the CPSC website to see what cribs have been recalled. In
the past several years there have been many listed for various reasons. During 2011 alone there were recalls by eight major manufacturers for a variety of reasons. Those companies include Dutailier, Yu Wei, Shermag, Dream on Me, ducduc, Delta Enterprise, IKEA and The Land of Nod.

Consumers who still have a drop side crib that has not been recalled are urged to check the CPSC website for companies that have recalled their cribs and are providing immobilizers to secure the drops side. The immobilizers are approved by the CPSC, but the crib itself still will not meet federal standards. Consumers who have an older model fixed side crib are advised to check it frequently, to ensure the hardware is securely fastened and there are no loose, broken or missing parts.

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Valerie Baldowski is passionate about writing about everything from childrens safety and juvenile products to gardening tools. She is the mother of a high energy 8 year old child so she is accustomed to researching childrens products and services… See more about Valerie

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