Canada moves toward drop-side crib ban

This Simplicity tubular steel support drop-side
crib was recalled this summer by Health Canada
due to reports of malfunctions.
OTTAWA, ON -- Leona Aglukkaq, Canada's Minister of Health, announced the launch of a public consultation process which could lead to a new prohibition against drop-side cribs.

The Canadian government is seeking feedback on proposed changes to the Cribs and Cradles Regulations of the Hazardous Products Act that would prohibit the advertisement, sale and importation in Canada of traditional drop-side cribs, as well as other cribs with sides that are not rigidly attached to the crib ends.

The announcement follows a similar one made by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Health Canada is aware of approximately 90 drop-side crib incidents occurring in Canada in the last ten years. Both the U.S. and Canadian safety agencies have reported instances of hardware malfunctions leading some cribs to break or fail, allowing the drop-side to detach from the crib. Health Canada, echoing warnings made by the CPSC, said these detachments can create gaps in which children can become wedged or entrapped, posing a risk of strangulation and suffocation. In addition, children can fall from the crib when the drop-side detaches or fails to latch and lock in the manufacturer's recommended use position.
"The safety of children's products, especially something as fundamental as a crib, is of the utmost importance to our government," said Aglukkaq. "Our crib requirements are already among the strictest in the world, but in the past few years we have worked with industry to voluntarily recall several models of drop-side cribs. We believe that an outright ban on the traditional style of drop-side cribs may be required in order to better protect our children."

In addition to this proposed prohibition, the proposal calls for an allowance for the uppermost portion of the crib side to fold, pivot or move with respect to the frame in order to provide easier access to the occupant.

If it becomes law, the proposed prohibition would apply to traditional retailers, second-hand stores, flea markets and garage sales, as well as products sold on Web-based retail establishments, such as EBay, Craigslist and Kijiji.

The Government is also asking for feedback on a number of other potential amendments to the Cribs and Cradles Regulations, including changes to performance requirements and test methods for crib accessories such as change tables. For complete details on proposed amendments, please see the consultation document posted on the Health Canada website. Interested parties are invited to submit comments by December 15, 2010.

Read Health Canada's press release.

Read CPSC moves to outlaw drop-side cribs (Posted 7-19-10)


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