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Government bans drop-side cribs

By Associated Press
December 16, 2010

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WASHINGTON — It’s the end of a crib that has cradled millions of babies for generations: The government outlawed drop-side cribs yesterday, citing the deaths of more than 30 infants and toddlers in the past decade and millions of recalls.

Voting unanimously, the Consumer Product Safety Commission banned the manufacture, sale, and resale of the cribs, which have a side rail that moves up and down.

A new requirement for fixed sides takes effect in June. Hotels and child-care centers would have two years to buy new cribs.

Drop-side cribs have come under scrutiny because of malfunctioning hardware, sometimes cheaper plastics, or assembly problems that can lead to the drop-side rail partially detaching from the crib. When that happens, it can create a dangerous V-like gap between the mattress and side rail where a baby can get caught and suffocate or strangle.

The new standard also mandates tougher safety testing and better labeling on crib pieces — a measure that aims to cut down on the number of assembly errors.

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