As I'm sure many of you know, drop side cribs have recently received tremendous attention regarding their safety. We have received a lot of questions about this and put together the below information to ease everyone's worries and confusion.
Drop side cribs as a whole are not necessarily dangerous, though they will be completely phased out of sale early next year (will get to that soon). The main problem that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has acknowledged is that injries/deaths can occur when a drop side crib is incorrectly assembled or after longtime wear and tear.
Due to the above, there have been reported injuries and deaths making this something that obviously requires attention and education. Currently, some, but not all, manufacturers are offering a device to customers that will immobilize the drop sides for their cribs if they were purchased between 2000 and 2009. Many of these brands have received no complaints at all, but they want to ease customers fears and stand behind their product. Make sure to look up info on your current crib and take the initiative to contact the manufacturer to find out if they are offering an immobilization kit or recall.
Keep in mind that properly assembled cribs that have not been subject to wear and tear over a long period of time have safely been used for decades by families. They aren't considered a defective device, nor something that requires recalling.
Here's where the future come in. The ASTM (formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials) is one of the largest voluntary standards development organizations in the world. At the end of 2009, many crib companies starting manufacturing their products to the ASTM's new standard, which requires them to do away with drop sides of the past.
Now it appears that the federal government is also getting involved and in early 2011they will be requiring all cribs sold in the US to be immobile side. This also includes the cribs used in American hotels, childcare facilities and hospitals. With all that in mind, most crib companies are being proactive and already taking drop sides out of their offerings.
So, you have a drop side crib at your own house or maybe Grandma's - now what? If you have checked that your cribs are less than 10 years old and confirmed that they were properly assembled according to the instructions and are not part of a recall, then you can be confident that they will be a safe and secure place for your baby to sleep. We just suggest that you check the hardware on your cribs. Make sure there are no loose or broken pieces and screws. If the assembly instructions have been thrown out or misplaced, contact the manufacturer. They should provide you with a copy.
If you do find a broken piece or missing hardware, immediately order a replacement part directly from the manufacturer. Do not attempt to use other materials or to fix something that is truly broken. In that situation, you will need to purchase a new crib right away.
At NessaLee Baby, we carry a variety of great cribs by modern brands - the one thing they all have in common is that none of them have drop sides. If you have any questions about the items we carry and their safety, do not hesitate to contact us.