Drop-side cribs sold at J.C. Penney have been recalled for entrapment and strangulation hazards, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced. As we’ve long explained, dangerous, drop-side cribs that do not comply with recent federal crib safety rules are banned in the U.S. by CPSC.
The federal ban on drop-side cribs makes it illegal to sell, resell, manufacture, and distribute drop-side cribs and prohibits drop-side cribs at motels, hotels, and childcare facilities. Hotels and child-care centers were allowed two years to replace their cribs.
The 16,700 recalled Rockland Furniture Drop-Side Cribs were manufactured in Taiwan by the Nan Far Woodworking Co. Ltd.; imported by J.C. Penney Purchasing Corp., of Plano, Texas; and sold at J.C. Penney stores and online at jcpenney.com from January 2005 through December 2008 for $150 – $400.
This is not the first time we’ve written about J.C. Penney recalling drop-side cribs. Late last year, J.C. Penney recalled 8,000 drop-side cribs.
The cribs’ drop sides can malfunction, detach, or otherwise fail, causing part of the drop side to fall out of position, which creates a space into which an infant or toddler can roll and become wedged or entrapped. This can lead to strangulation or suffocation. A child can also fall out of the crib and drop-side incidents can also occur due to incorrect assembly and with age-related wear and tear. To date, the CPSC and the firms are aware of five incidents involving drop sides that malfunctioned or detached, including one report of a child who became entrapped and who sustained minor scratches and bruises.
The wooden Rockland Furniture brand drop-side cribs were imported and sold by J.C. Penney from 2005 to 2008 and are constructed with plastic hardware that attaches the drop side. “Rockland Furniture” and the model number can be found on a rectangular label that can be found on the lower portion of the headboard panel. The following six drop-side crib models are included in this recall:
343-8124 Nightingale Spindle Drop-Side Crib
343-8280 Cottage Standard Drop-Side Crib Version 1
343-8271 Cottage Standard Drop-Side Crib Version 2
343-9105 Drop-Side Crib and Changer
343-8191 Renew Standard Drop-Side Crib
343-8192 Renew Convertible Drop-Side Crib
Consumers are advised to immediately stop using the recalled cribs and contact Nan Far Woodworking for a free repair kit that will immobilize the drop side. The firm suggests that, in the meantime, caretakers find an alternate, safe sleep environment for the child such as a bassinet, play yard, or toddler bed, depending on the child’s age. Nan Far Woodworking can be reached, toll-free, at 1.877.967.5770, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, or at the firm’s website www.rocklandimmobilizationkit.com.
The CPSC reminds parents not to use any crib with missing, broken or loose parts and to ensure that hardware is tightened from time to time to ensure the crib is kept sturdy. When using a drop-side crib, parents should check to ensure the drop side or any other moving part operates smoothly. Always check all sides and corners of the crib for parts separating that can create a gap and entrap a child. In addition, parents are urged not to try to repair any side of the crib: Babies have died in cribs in which repairs were attempted by caregivers. Crib age is also a factor in safety. At a minimum, CPSC staff recommends that you do not use a crib that is older than 10 years old.
The CPSC notes that, effective June 28, 2011, new, mandatory federal crib rules require all cribs made and sold after that date must meet new and improved safety requirements. Older cribs do not meet the new standard and can have a variety of safety problems; information on crib recalls can be found at www.cpsc.gov. As we’ve mentioned, just about every crib made prior to the agency’s new crib safety standard went into effect are banned; new cribs must be made with stronger hardware and be constructed with mattress supports and slats and all must undergo revised testing that is meant to emulate long-term crib use.
Drop-side cribs have been the subject of numerous other recalls. In June 2010 alone, more than 2 million were recalled; since, more than 1.5 million more cribs were recalled. Worse, some 32 deaths have been linked to shoddy drop-side cribs due to damaged or missing hardware or other defects.