On the same day U.S. regulators approved banning <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">drop-side cribs, Pottery Barn Kids is recalling 82,000 of the dangerous infant beds. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) drop-side cribs have been implicated in 153 deaths in the past four years.
Drop-side cribs became popular because they allow caregivers to easily access the beds. Unfortunately, poor design, poorly written assembly directions, or broken pieces can all cause the side rail to fall unexpectedly, or separate from the rest of the bed, creating an entrapment hazard, which can lead to strangulation or suffocation.
Nine million drop-side cribs have been recalled over the past five years because of such risks. In May, the CPSC warned parents to stop using such cribs.
The new rules, which would ban the sale of new and used drop-side cribs and prohibit their use in hotels, day- care centers and other commercial facilities, were approved by the CPSC in 5-0 vote yesterday. The approval of new mandatory standards marks the agency’s first overhaul of regulations for infant beds in almost three decades.
A statement from the CPSC said its staff is working to finalize the proposed mandatory crib standards in 2010.
The Pottery Barn Kids recall issued yesterday involved 82,000 drop-side cribs sold through the Pottery Barn Kids catalog, www.potterybarnkids.com , and at Pottery Barn Kids retail stores nationwide from January 1999 through March 2010 for between $300 and $600.
The CPSC and Pottery Barn Kids have received 36 reports of drop sides that have malfunctioned or detached, resulting in seven minor injuries when children fell out of the cribs or got their legs caught between the mattress and the drop side. One child became entrapped at the head between the drop side and crib mattress but was freed without injury.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs, inspect the hardware to make sure it is not broken, and contact Pottery Barn Kids to receive a free fixed-gate conversion kit that will immobilize the drop side. For additional information, contact Pottery Barn Kids at (877) 804-3847 between 7 a.m. and midnight 7 days a week or visit the firmâ€™s website at www.potterybarnkids.com.