Illegal, Dangerous Drop-Side Cribs Still Being Sold

Dangerous, drop-side cribs, although banned in the United States by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), are still being sold. The ban 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 have two years to replace their cribs.

It seems, said USA Today, that sellers such as Craigslist and eBay are allowing the deadly cribs to be sold, according to a website review. eBay said it would shut down crib auctions in coming weeks, eBay and the CPSC told USA Today this weekend. Craigslist said that it just updated its “prohibition notices and information page” concerning used cribs, and did so at the agency’s request, but noted that listings are the responsibility of the user, said USA Today.

Just about every crib made prior to the agency’s new crib safety standard went into effect are banned, typically because prior versions were made with weaker hardware, said USA Today. New cribs must be made with stronger hardware and must be constructed with mattress supports and slats, all of which must undergo revised testing that is meant to emulate long-term crib use, noted USA Today.

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. Over the years, crib makers moved from metal to plastic hardware and cheaper wood, only worsening the problem.

As any one who reads this blog knows, drop-side cribs have been the subject of numerous recalls. In June alone, more than 2 million were recalled. Since last January, about 1.5 million cribs have been recalled, not counting the 2 million recalled in June.

Some 32 deaths have been linked to shoddy drop-side cribs due to damaged or missing hardware or other defects, explained USA Today. While some crib makers are creating retrofit kits to bring cribs up to standard, the rule makes all cribs manufactured prior to June 28 illegal for retailers or individual sellers to sell, said USA Today. But, monitoring is challenging and, as CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum said, the CPSC isn’t “raiding garage sales,” reported USA Today.

Traditional stores have systems to flag recalled or banned products; however, Craigslist and eBay are more difficult to monitor, said USA Today. Regardless, said Tenenbaum, while educating sellers is the priority, the agency plans to “use whatever enforcement options we need,” reported USA Today.

Despite the rule and education, thousands of the dangerous and defective cribs were available on Craigslist this weekend and eBay still had hundreds of used, banned cribs listed for sale.

“It’s very troubling that we continue to see them on the Internet,” Tenenbaum says. “I want people to know there are safer cribs now on the market,” wrote USA Today.

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