600,000+ Drop Side Cribs Recalled Following Infant's DeathJan 20, 2010 | Parker Waichman LLP
Dorel Asia SRL, of Barbados has issued a recall for more than 600,000 dangerous drop side cribs, one of which has been implicated in the death of a child.
The cribs in this recall are extremely dangerous. A 6-month old child from Cedar Rapids, Iowa died as a result of strangulation after becoming entrapped after drop side hardware on one of these cribs broke. The crib continued to be used after the parents tried to repair the drop side themselves.
There have also been reports of 31 drop side incidents. In six of those incidents, children were entrapped between the drop side and crib mattress. Three children suffered from bruises as a result of the entrapment. In addition, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and Dorel Asia received reports of 36 incidents of slat breakage, including seven reports of bruises and scratches to children and two reports of entrapment that resulted in no injury.
Consumer advocates have long called for an end to the sale of drop side cribs. They are popular because they allow caregivers to easily access the beds. Unfortunately, poor design, poorly written assembly directions, or broken pieces can all cause the side rail to fall unexpectedly, or separate from the rest of the bed, creating an entrapment hazard. In many instances, children have been injured and even killed after becoming entrapped in a gap between the side rail and headboard of a drop side crib.More than 5 million drop side cribs have been recalled over the past two years alone, and such cribs have been connected with the deaths of a dozen young children.
Last November, following a massive recall of Stork Craft drop side cribs that had been implicated in the suffocation deaths of four children, the head of the CPSC advised that parents and caregivers abandon drop side cribs. Inez Tenenbaum also admitted that her agency’s track record on crib safety hasn’t exactly been stellar.
At the time, Tenenbaum said the CPSC would be proposing new mandatory crib regulations in the next few months, but said she did “not think drop-sides will be a part of cribs in the future.”
The cribs involved in this recall were sold at K-Mart, Sears and Wal-Mart stores nationwide from January 2005 through December 2009 for between $120 and $700. A complete list of the drop side crib models included in this recall can be found here.
Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs, find an alternative safe sleeping environment for your child, and contact Dorel Asia to receive a free replacement kit. Consumers should log on to www.dorel-asia.com to order the free replacement kit to prevent child entrapment in these cribs. The repair kits will be provided to owners within the next several weeks.
The CPSC is also reminding parents and caregivers 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, especially with duct tape, wire or rope.