WASHINGTON, DC - Wood baby cribs are in short supply, report retailers, as a Consumer Product Safety Commission June 28 ban on drop side cribs and higher safety standards takes effect.

On December 15, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission approved the new mandatory crib standards, which took effect the end of June. CPSC says its new rules, established the most stringent crib safety standards in the world, and applying to importers, distributors, manufacturers, and retailers. The rules also ban the resale of cribs that don't meet the standards.

Delta Children's Products tells the New York Times that it is selling a half million cribs annually, testing imports and U.S. made cribs at seven labs for durability and lead content. Retailers offering other brands say they have quarantined inventory as they await test results that would certify the cribs as safe, and complain of a shortage of testing facilities. Retailers also marked down cribs to clear inventory ahead of the deadline.

The rules were imposed after CPSP recalled more than 11 million cribs since 2007. Drop-side cribs with detaching side rails were associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. Additional deaths also occurred due to faulty or defective crib hardware.  WoodworkingNetwork has provided steady coverage of the crib safety issues affecting wood furniture manufacturers.

The shortage of approved cribs could worsen: starting December 28, 2012, child care facilities, including family child care homes and infant Head Start centers, as well as hotels and motels, and rental companies must use only cribs that comply with the new crib standards.


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