CPSC: Stay away from drop-side cribs

For years there have been complaints about drop-side cribs and more than 5 million of them have been recalled in the past two years. Now the CPSC chairman is advising consumers against using any drop-side cribs.

The warning follows on the heels of a 2.1 million recall of drop-side cribs made by Stork-Craft between 1993 and October 2009. Parents are checking cribs to make sure their kids are safe.

"It's a different brand name, but I have checked it to see how sturdy it is. He does like to play with it and move it around, but it seems very sturdy," said Julie Varones, parent.

"His crib is safe and it's in good condition. I always push it or pull it or see the knobs and everything," said Rita Lee.

The CPSC is aware of four infants who suffocated in the drop-side cribs, in which the side that lowers is intended to allow easier access to the baby.

"The hardware can crack, a depression is made in the bed, and the baby's head gets caught in that depression and the baby can strangle and die," said Ann Brown, former chairman, CPSC.

Parents are urged to stop using the cribs and wait for a free repair kit. Brad Moriarty, owner of Rooms 4 Kids, designs fixed rail cribs and said he never liked the drop-side feature. He has this advice for those in the market for a new crib.

"I would stay away from pine, veneers, particle board that can come undone," said Moriarity. "The gap between the mattress and the inside wall of the crib should have no more than one adult finger put between the mattress and the wall."

The recalled drop-side cribs cost between $100 and 400. Moriarty's cribs, which can be converted to beds for older children, retail for $600. "As a parent, your heart goes out to people who can't afford it, but at the same time as a manufacturer, it's our responsibility to make sure the safety of the public is most important," said Moriarty.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering mandatory standards for crib design and could adopt safety advocates' suggestions to outright ban on the drop-side crib.

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