December 16, 2010

CPSC Sets New Standards For Baby Cribs

U.S. authorities said that they have set a new standard for baby cribs, including a ban on models with sides that drop down, which have been connected to the deaths of several children.

The new rules by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) make it illegal to sell a crib with sides that drop down or those that do not pass strict tests on the durability of slats and mattresses.

The CPSC has also made it illegal to sell second-hand cribs, since most will be unable to meet the tougher safety standards.

Commissioner Thomas Moore of the CPSC said in a statement on Wednesday that the new law was an "important step to providing a much needed added measure of safety to our young children's sleeping environment."

"The benefits of our action today will be saving the lives of innocent babies," he said.

Officials said the law will go into effect in six month's time, although hotels and childcare centers will have two years to migrate from their old cribs to new ones.

The CPSC said that it has recalled over 11 million cribs since 2007.

The consumer regulatory agency said that across the U.S. there have been dozens of crib-related fatalities over the past three years, almost all of which resulted when a baby's head or neck became entrapped after a malfunction of the drop-side crib mechanism.

Consumer groups praised the new regulations as they said that it now gives the U.S. the toughest crib standards in the world.

"Parents and caregivers should have peace of mind when they leave their baby in a crib that their baby will be safe. For too long that has not been the case," Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety at the non-profit Consumer Federation of America, told AFP.

"We congratulate CPSC for shepherding this strong and much needed consumer protection," she said.


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