If you recall, earlier this year the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled millions of drop-side cribs after infants and toddlers were getting caught in the side, sometimes suffocating.
Whenever a dangerous product is on the market, the CPSC will order a recall to get the product out of consumers' homes and store shelves. Now, day-care centers and hotels may also be required to completely replace drop-side cribs with safe alternatives. Child-care industry groups are estimating that the cost of replacing the cribs is going to cost a lot.
Right now, the cost is nearing a half a billion dollars. The groups are arguing that the cribs in use are safe because the cribs are being monitored constantly by staff members. Centers may have to replace other cribs as well if the safety of the cribs is checked. According to the CPSC, any commercially used crib that is checked for safety is destroyed in the process.
Though they are still pending, the regulations will require cribs to be made with stronger sides and mattress support. The regulations will also require testing processes that will take into account regular wear and tear over time. Additionally, the CPSC wants the drop-side crib to be completely removed from the market.
Over 32 infant deaths were caused by a defect in a drop-side crib in the past 10 years. That does not include the number of children who were injured after getting caught between the crib and the side or falling out of the crib. The recall and this campaign for new regulations is directed towards preventing future infant injuries and deaths.
Source: Bloomburg Businessweek online, "U.S. Crib Design Rules May Cost Day-Care Industry $550 Million," Jeff Plungis, 27 December 2010