Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner
As we have posted several times in the past, drop side cribs are inherently dangerous, having caused numerous deaths and injuries. The popularity of these cribs is because they make it easier for caregivers to access the beds. The dangers come from poor design, poor assembly instructions and broken pieces, leading to unexpected side rail failure, making entrapment hazards, suffocation or strangulation. During the past five years, nine million of those cribs have been recalled. The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) warned parents in May, 2010 to stop using them. New York has joined the growing list of states to prohibit sales of drop side cribs.
Featured below is the complete warning from CPSC from May, 2010, reproduced in its entirety for our readers:
"Advice to Consumers
Check your crib regularly and make sure it has not already been recalled.
While CPSC staff cannot say that every drop-side crib is hazardous, based on investigations of incidents we have received, the agency believes that overall most drop-side cribs are more prone to mechanical failure than similar designed fixed-side cribs. In addition, older cribs may not meet current voluntary standards. Factors that contribute to safety problems in older cribs include:
- The longer a crib is used, the more wear and tear on hardware and joints, allowing screws to loosen and fall out and plastic parts to flex and break.
- Repeated assembly and disassembly increases likelihood that crib parts can be damaged or lost.
- Wood warps and shrinks over time and glue can become brittle. This can lead to joint and slat failures.
Important Message from CPSC: CPSC reminds parents not to use any crib with missing, broken, or loose parts. Make sure to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy. When using a drop-side crib, parents should check to make sure the drop side or any other moving part operates smoothly. Always check all sides and corners of the crib for disengagement. Disengagements can create a gap and entrap a child. In addition, do not try to repair any side of the crib. Babies have died in cribs where repairs were attempted by caregivers.
If your baby is less than six months old and is not yet able to push up to his/her hands and knees, you can put your baby to sleep in a bassinet. Make sure your bassinet has not been recalled. Here’s a list. Also, you can use a play yard. Do not put additional bedding such as pillows, thick quilts, comforters or anything plush into your baby’s sleeping space. More babies die every year from suffocation in plush sleeping environments than from defective cribs.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard. The CPSC’s work to ensure the safety of consumer products – such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals – contributed significantly to the decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC’s teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054. To join a CPSC e-mail subscription list, please go to https://www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx. Consumers can obtain recall and general safety information by logging on to CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov."
Don’t gamble with your child’s safety. I encourage you to sign up on the CPSC recall list and regularly check for recalls before purchasing any products for your children.
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About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a board-certified cicil trial attorney and a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, product liability actions, work-related injuries, serious truck and car collisions, and medical malpractice claims. Mr. Zambri has also been named a "Super Lawyer" by Super Lawyer magazine (March/April 2010)–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.
Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to give presentations to lawyers and businesses regarding product defects, automobile accident litigation, and safety improvements.
If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at email@example.com or call him at 202-822-1899.