Today marks 30 weeks in this pregnancy. 10 weeks left. Time sure does fly. As the due date draws near I find myself doing a lot of reading regarding child health and safety. I feel like I am on the verge of becoming a child safety adovacate. For example, cribs. Apparently until December of 2010 the federal regulations and safety standards for cribs had not been changed or updated for over 30 years! That’s a long time to go without reviewing the safety standards. Unfortunately, what prompted the review of the standards was several infant deaths caused by the cribs they were placed in. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reviewed and performed a major overhaul to the safety standards applied to cribs. It was published into law on December 28, 2010. Some of the highlights are as follows:
-The new safety standards eliminated the manufacture of the drop side cribs.
-Improvements to structural integrity of slats
-Increased severity vertical mattress impact test
-Horizontal cyclic test
-Elimination of wood screws from key structural elements
-Reduction of toehold exposure
-Marking and labeling improvements
Basically, the new standards had four goals: (1) stop manufacture and sale of drop side cribs, (2) make the mattress supports stronger, (3) make crib hardware more durable, and (4) make the safety testing more rigorous.
I found out about these new regulations when my mother in law was explaining that she wanted to offer us the crib that my husband had as a baby, but couldn’t due to the new safety regulations. After reading more about it, I realized I hadn’t seen any of the old style drop side cribs as options while browsing cribs. According to the consumer product safety commission the drop side cribs had been associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000.
The reason I am writing this blog post about 2 year old news….it appears to me that a lot of new parents are not aware of this topic. I have been an avid participant in the May 2012 First Time Moms community forum on the babycenter.com website. There have been several discussions regarding cribs, but not a lot of mention about the safety standards and the hazards of accepting a hand-me-down crib that was manufactured prior to the new safety regulations. This is where my feelings of being an advocate for child safety come into play. I feel I would be failing some how if I didn’t try to get the word out there in all the ways I possibly can. That said….here are a couple of links to pages regarding the safety standards for cribs:
Link to the CPSC website news release regarding the new standards: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11074.html
Link to the PDF published by the CPSC outlining all safety standards for full-size baby cribs and non-full-size baby cribs: http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr11/cribfinal.pdf