My drop-side crib has NOT been recalled. Is it safe?

April 29, 2011 — By

07/11/2011 Editor’s Note: This post was written in response to questions specifically regarding drop-sides. However, the CPSC has asked that we add a note to emphasize that the new standards, which went into effect on June 28, 2011, cover several improved safety features, beyond just the ban on traditional drop-sides. The new standards also include requirements for stronger hardware, slats and mattress supports as well as more rigorous testing requirements.   Cribs made and sold in the US must meet ALL of the new standards, which you can read about by following the links in the post below, or in the Federal Register, here. We are happy to add the note.

We have been getting this question a lot lately. The short answer is “No.”

While not every drop-side crib has been recalled, in December 2010, the CPSC approved new standards that will effectively ban all traditional drop-side cribs.  Beginning in June 2011, it will be illegal to manufacture or sell traditional drop-side cribs in the United States.  At that point, to the extent they are still found in the marketplace, we will see more recalls of drop-side cribs.

Many manufacturers have already implemented recalls ahead of the ban.  Typically, this is because they received specific reports of their cribs malfunctioning or children being injured or killed in their cribs.  You can check the list of recalled cribs here.

WeMakeItSafer  advises against using drop-side cribs.  Although we understand that it is highly inconvenient and costly to buy a new crib, the risks, in our opinion, are too great.  If purchasing a new crib that meets the new safety standards is not an option, try contacting the manufacturer of your current crib to find out if they will be offering a repair kit for the drop side.  Many manufacturers have developed immobilization kits for their current drop-side models.

Importantly, after June 28, 2011, it will be illegal to sell drop-side cribs, even if they are fitted with immobilizers and repair kits.  We have listed the manufacturers believed to be offering immobilization kits at the bottom of this post.  Remember, only use a kit if it is designed specifically for your crib model and do NOT try to repair the crib yourself.

Although the moms in the following CPSC video about drop-side cribs are not the best actresses in the world, the information is helpful.  A transcript is also provided below.

 

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Manufacturers offering immobilizers for current owners of drop-side cribs:

 

Manufacturer Toll-Free Phone Number Website
Angel Line Longwood Forest (800) 889-8158 anytime www.angelline.com or e-mail the firm at parts@angelline.com
C&T International/Sorelle and Golden Baby (877) 791-9398 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.candtinternational.net
Delta Enterprise Corp. (877) 342-3418 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.cribrecallcenter.com
Dorel Asia (866) 762-2304 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.dorel-asia.com
Ethan Allen (888) 339-9398 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.ethanallen.com
Evenflo (800) 356-2229 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday http://safety.evenflo.com
Jardine (800) 295-1980 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET  Monday through Friday www.jdservice.biz
LaJobi (Bonavita, Babi Italia and ISSI drop-side models) (888) 738-5676 anytime www.lajobi.com
LaJobi-manufactured Graco® wood cribs (888) 842-2215 anytime www.LaJobi.com
Kmart Heritage Collection 3-in-1 drop-side cribs (866) 499-2099 between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday through Friday www.victorylandgroup.com
Million Dollar Baby (888) 673-6488 anytime www.themdbfamily.com/safety
Simmons (877) 342-3439 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday www.cribrecallcenter.com
Stork Craft and Stork Craft cribs with a Fisher-Price logo (877) 274-0277 anytime www.storkcraft.com

The above list is provided by the CPSC with this note: “[These] immobilizers have not been tested or evaluated by CPSC staff for use with your specific crib.”

CPSC Drop-side Crib Video Transcript

What is a drop-side?

A drop-side is a movable side of the crib that gives mom, dad, grandma or any caregiver easier access to the inside of the crib. A traditional drop-side slides up and down.

Are all drop-side cribs bad?

Not necessarily. CPSC only hears about cribs with problems, not the ones that are fine. On the whole, a drop-side crib has a tendency to be less structurally sound than an identical fixed siding crib and thus it is more susceptible to problems from use, being moved, storage, and assembly.

How can I tell whether my crib is safe for my baby?

Every time you change the sheets, check that all visible hardware – every bolt, screw, track and clamp – is securely in place. Make sure the drop-side is on its track and functions well. With the mattress out of the crib, wiggle all the crib to see how tight all the joints are.

If the crib remains wobbly after tightening all hardware, look for loose wood-to-wood joints that may be causing the problem. Stop using the crib if loose wood-to-wood joints are found or if you cannot fully tighten any screw. Also, if one side of your crib is loose, do NOT push that loose side against a wall and continue to use the crib. The wall, along with a loose side, can create a space in which a child can get caught and smother.

What are immobilizers? Should I use one?

Immobilizers are protective devices that stop drop-sides from moving up, down, and outward. If your manufacturer makes an immobilizer specifically for your crib, CPSC staff recommends that you get one and install it on your crib. Only use immobilizers on cribs that don’t have missing or broken hardware. These devices protect your crib’s hardware and limit movement so that a child can’t get stuck between the drop-side and the rest of the crib.

Can I just fix my crib myself?

Do NOT try to fix your crib. Do-it-yourself crib repair can be very dangerous and the results can be deadly. Infants and toddlers have died in cribs with makeshift repairs. Untested screws can loosen and all kinds of tape, wire, and zip ties stretch — no matter how tight they may be at first.

My crib has a drop-side but I don’t use my drop-side. Do I still need to check my crib?

Yes, you should always do regular checks on your crib to make sure that components are tight and are not broken. Parts can still break and become loose, even if the drop-side is not used.

My crib has broken or missing pieces. Now what?

Stop using the crib and contact the manufacturer and report the problem to the CPSC.

Stop using my crib? So where do I put my baby to sleep?

If your baby is less than six months old and is not yet able to push up on their hands and knees, you can put your baby in a bassinet. If your child is older, you can use a play yard. If you believe your child is too big or able to climb out of a play yard, use a mattress on the floor or a toddler bed.

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15 Comments

  1. Natalie says:

    I had a drop side and so did my mother in law. BOTH cribs just by barely jarring the crib a little the sides would falled down, half off, or even completely. drop sides should have NEVER been manufactured in the first place. just because you have one the “works” for you, don’t assume they are all good. how simple minded can you be? in my opinion they are junk and shame on the companies for making/selling them.

  2. nicola johns says:

    Uuhhh exactly how did I get lazy when my son died in his crib in the night. The crib was built correctly no bumpers. It was a faulty crib the slide rails were too shallow . He was not standing or pulling himself up yet. It was a faulty crib. So please before you blanket us all as lazy parents check your facts

  3. Catrina Ragsdale says:

    I have read several of the stories where the infant has supposedly “died because of the drop side crib.” All these stories have the same things in common, none of these things can be blamed on the crib. It is a CRIB. It is NOT A BABYSITTER and it is NOT A PLAYPEN. It is not because the crib that the infant died, it is because of irresponsible/lazy parents/babysitters/ nannies. Drop side cribs have been around for generations and did not become a problem until parents got lazy.

  4. Catrina Ragsdale says:

    I have read several of the stories where the infant died “because of the drop side

  5. Jeanne Baxter says:

    Does anyone know about Magic Moon cribs? A friend has offered us her 2003 Magic Moon crib, which has double drop sides. I have been trying to contact the manufacturer with no luck. The crib was quite pricey, but I want to know if it can be immobilized. Thanks!

  6. Christine Russo says:

    I am Truly sorry for your loss and if it was the result of faulty manufacturing, it was a tragedy that shouldn’t have happened. But I feel compelled to share with you that that the loss of a total of 18 children in the last nearly 20 years,(due to drop side cribs) out of the millions born in this country should not have required a ban on drop sided cribs at a cost of $550 million dollars. 10 times as many babies die each year of spider bites and millions more are aborted. The chance of any infant death due to a drop side crib accident is less than 1 in 5 million. The CPSC didn’t create the ban because they care about babies. They care about power and the crib manufacturers didn’t complain because it meant billions to them in replacement cribs. Case in point, 16 oz drinks outlawed in New York. Now, if you want 16 ozs of anything you have to buy two!

    • Magin says:

      It doens’t matter how many children have passed away. NOT ONE should have died due to a faulty drop side crib. That being said the ban and recall should have happened. The companies cant bring anyones child back but they do need to atleast try to make it right so that noone else loses a baby over their mistakes

  7. nicola johns says:

    My name is Nicola johns, my son Liam johns died in a drop side crib, please do not put your baby in a drop side crib! Your babies life is so precious, don’t risk it!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time and having the courage to share your experience. May Liam’s story prevent others from experiencing the unbearable loss suffered by you and your family.