Simplicity Drop Side Crib Blamed for Child's Death, Another Recall IssuedJul 5, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
More Simplicity Drop Side Cribs have been recalled, following the death of an infant. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled cribs and find an alternative, safe sleeping environment for their baby.
This recall involves 400,000 Simplicity Drop Side Cribs made by Simplicity Inc. and SFCA Inc. of Reading, Pa. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the firms appear to no longer conduct day to day operations. Simplicity has been the subject of massive crib recalls in the past. In September 2007, a recall notice was issued for 1 million Simplicity and Graco cribs because a flaw in the design of the cribs allowed parents to install the drop rail upside down. Two children died in those faulty cribs before they were finally recalled. The Simplicity Drop Side Crib recall was expanded in April 2009 to include another 600,000 cribs.
This recall involves all drop side cribs with a different or “newer” style of plastic hardware from those cribs recalled in 2007. This newer style of Simplicity hardware can be identified by a flexible plastic tab at the top of the lower tracks. The recalled model numbers include but may not be limited to: 8050, 8325, 8620, 8745, 8748, 8755, 8756, 8765, 8778, 8810, and 8994, 8995, 8996. The recalled Simplicity cribs were sold in department stores, children’s stores, and mass merchandisers nationwide from January 2005 through June 2009 for between $150 and $300. Consumers should immediately return the Simplicity crib to the place of purchase for a refund, replacement or store credit.
The CPSC said it was aware of one death involving an 8-month-old child from Houston, Texas who became entrapped and suffocated between the drop side and the crib mattress when a plastic connector on the drop side broke. The agency said it was also is aware of an additional 25 incidents involving the drop side detaching from the crib. In six of these incidents, the drop side detached because the plastic flexible tab deformed or broke. In four of the drop side detachment incidents, other plastic parts, including connectors or tracks, deformed or broke. In two of the incidents, two children became entrapped between the drop side and the crib mattress. There were no reported injuries.
Drop side cribs have proven dangerous over the years, and many other brands have been recalled in addition to Simplicity. Drop-side cribs 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 March, we reported that major crib manufacturers have signed on to a proposal that would ban drop side cribs in the U.S. Proposed new rules would require that all four sides of the crib be rigidly attached to one another. That eliminates the moving parts that have broken loose and created entrapment hazards. A small portion of the top of a crib railing would be allowed to fold down, so that people who need it would still have easier access to the crib. According to the Chicago Tribune, the proposal was approved in March at a meeting of ASTM International, a standards organization. The proposal now goes to a broader group of ASTM members for a vote.
At least one retailer, Toys 'R Us has already decided to phase out drop side cribs, and has quit ordering the beds from manufacturers.