The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted 5-0 to approve proposed new mandatory standards that would effectively prohibit the sale and resale of drop-side cribs.

In addition, the CPSC's proposal to adopt the new ASTM F 1169-10 Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Full-Size Cribs would also address new requirments meant to improve mattress support, crib slat durability and other  crib features that pose entrapment hazards.

The voluntary ASTM F 1169-10 standard was approved on June 1. The lone modification that CPSC recommends to it is requiring cribs to be tested without the re-tightening of screws between tests to better mimic the lifetime use of the crib. The CPSC also proposed more stringent performance requirements for non-full-size cribs, including play yards.

CPSC staff is working to finalize the proposed mandatory crib standards in 2010.

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum issued a statement following the vote. "A crib should be the safest place for an infant or toddler to sleep. For too long, and for too many young children, this has not been the case," Tennenbaum said. "Between November 2007 and April of this year, CPSC is aware of thirty-six deaths associated with crib structural problems. Thirty-five of those fatalities occurred when crib components detached, disengaged, or broke, ending in an entirely avoidable tragedy. The fatal and near fatal incidents resulting from crib failures made it abundantly clear to me and to CPSC that now is the time for new mandatory standards to address these risks."
Over the past five years, approximately 10 million cribs, mostly of the drop-side variety, have been recalled in the United States and Canada. The most recent recall, issued on July 14 by Pottery Barn Kids, involves some 82,000 cribs.

Read U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's press release.

Read related statement by CPSC Commissioner Inez Tenenbaum. 

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