2.1 Million Cribs Recalled, Including 150,000 From Fisher Price

Following four deaths, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has announced one of the largest recalls of cribs in the agency’s history: 2.1 million cribs manufactured by Stork Craft, including roughly 150,000 sold under the Fisher Price brand. As in other recent recalls, this one is based on problems with drop-side cribs entrapping babies and seriously injuring or killing them.

The latest recall brings the grand total of crib, bassinet and play yard recalls over the past three years to 5 million, including over 500,000 Stock Craft cribs recalled earlier this year, and 600,000 Delta drop-side cribs recalled last month.Consumer advocates have urged stricter standards — or even a ban — on such cribs.

Parents are urged to stop using recalled cribs and contact Stork Kraft at (877) 274-0277 or on the company’s web site. More information is available through the CPSC.

Infant Entrapment and Suffocation Prompts Stork Craft to Recall More Than 2.1 Million Drop-Side Cribs [CPSC via Consumer Reports]

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  1. Kuchen says:

    Drop-side cribs are scary. Banning them entirely seems like a pretty good idea to me.

  2. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    What’s the point of a drop side crib, exactly? Is it for easy access, or for the crib to convert to a small bed later, or what? It just seems to me that the fewer movable parts a crib has, the less chance of injury. My hypothetical future child is probably going to sleep in a refrigerator box tipped onto its side with one side cut out.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      I can’t actually reach my baby when the crib mattress is in the low setting unless the side drops. I’m too short to reach all that way in, and he’s too young to sit up on purpose (but old enough to manage it accidentally, when is when you have to drop the crib mattress from the up-high “bassinet” setting to the low “crib/baby jail” setting).

      I’ve looked for an alternative where the mattress is low enough to be safe but where I can still reach the baby, but we haven’t been able to find anything except a weird one where the crib opened like “doors” and did NOT seem sturdy enough to contain a child.

      • kaceetheconsumer says:

        I’m short too (5’5″) and I did okay with the IKEA crib we got. It had a high-mattress setting for newborns, which was fine, and then a low-mattress setting for older kids. I had to reach to put her down in there when she was asleep, which was un-fun, but it was worth it to only pay $169 for a crib (the cheapest one available in Vegas that actually passed safety standards was $400) and she’s still using it as a toddler bed now.

        My mother in law warned me off of drop-sides not just for safety but because so many of them rattle, and as she said, you don’t want to have finally nursed that kid to sleep and be putting them down just to accidentally rattle the side and wake them. Or to have to snap it it into place and wake them.

        • Kuchen says:

          We have an IKEA crib too. Also short (5’4″), and haven’t had a problem yet, but we haven’t had to move the mattress to the lower setting just yet. I think the IKEA cribs are lower to the floor that most, which is helpful, as the top of the railing is right about my waist. I have also worked night shifts as a pediatric nurse…so I have ninja-like skills when it comes to reaching and moving children quietly or otherwise.

          • kaceetheconsumer says:

            I had to stand on tiptoes and hang my non-sexy ample waist over the edge of the crib, and then stretch down slowly to put her on the mattress, all without wiggling her. Good thing she was itty-bitty!

            As for your ninja skills…when are you teaching a class and can I come? ;)

            • Kuchen says:

              Ninjas never reveal their secrets. ;)

              It’s all about moving quickly but smoothly. The longer you take, the more opportunity for causing a disturbance. And know the equipment you’re working with. If you aren’t absolutely sure how to operate something, trying to do it in the dark is just going to cause trouble.

      • Noir says:

        I think that putting a brick or a cheap plastic box from the supermarket right under the crib would act as a “brake” in the event of the side falling accidentally. Have you tried something like that?

    • diasdiem says:

      What, are you going to be homeless?

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        No, it’s that I have friends who are buying $60 linens for their baby’s crib, and I’m just thinking “it’s a baby…what’s he/she going to do, complain about the color scheme?”

        It seems having few moveable parts is a good idea, hence cardboard box. Not really much in the way of moveable parts there. But who am I kidding? When I have a kid, that kid’s probably going to get the awesomest crib ever, and it’ll probably have to have a drop side cause I’m pretty short, and if Eyebrows has problems, I’d probably have problems too.

        Instead of a drop side, what about a crib with a door like a microwave? Just make sure it has a really good latch so that it can’t pop open.

        • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

          We got $6.95 linens at Target. And for his side-car bassinet (until he was 4 months), we actually used king-sized pillow cases as “sheets” … slid the “mattress” right in.

          I’m torn on the crib thing. People have used drop-sides safely for decades, and we inspected ours very thoroughly after each recall. But I’d worry less if I had a not-drop-side. But I haven’t been able to find a decent alternative.

          I suppose a crib actually ON THE FLOOR so I could bend over the bars at waist height would be workable (and have less falling danger when they start climbing!), although that introduces its own problems, notably bad backs and that the cats could get in it (they can’t get in the standard crib, it’s too high to jump from the floor and there’s no furniture near to launch from).

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            The idea that your cats would launch themselves from furniture is pretty hilarious. But it does seem that having a crib on the floor has its own set of problems. For one, anyone with less than perfect balance may find themselves teetering a little, and no one wants to fall over with a baby in their arms. And not to mention that the baby would get a very strange perspective of his or her room as soon as he or she started to really register what was going on around them. I mean, I wouldn’t want to start visually exploring my surroundings and be eye level with carpet fuzz and baseboards.

        • kaceetheconsumer says:

          Here are some cool instructions on how to hack the same crib we’ve got (which is non-drop-side, inexpensive, very sturdy, converts to toddler bed, and awesome) so that it can be accessed by disabled parents:

          http://www.instructables.com/id/Modified_Crib_for_Parent_with_Disability/

          It technically no longer meets safety standards but obviously great care and attention was paid to making it safe within the necessary context.

          And like Eyebrows says, you can get inexpensive linens. We got some at Target and even cheaper ones at IKEA…I think the latter were something like $7 for a pack of two fitted sheets (and that’s all you want…thick blankets, bumpers, etc are all SIDS risks and I can’t believe any of that crap is still legal to sell!).

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            We actually finally went and installed the bumper once he hit the six month mark (past the high risk of SIDS death, for non-parents) … he’s started scooting and gets a foot between the bars but can’t get it out, but it also really, really cuts down on drafts. He’s much warmer with that bumper there. (But our house is older, so the heat isn’t as efficient as it could be.)

            Of course it has to come right back out once he starts pulling up, but by then he should be able to get himself back unstuck. :)

            • kaceetheconsumer says:

              Actually, SIDS risk is technically until 2, it’s just that most of the risk goes away once the child can lift their head. So you’re probably safe with it on account of you being a well-informed, attentive parent (and probably a non-smoker), but not everyone would be safe at 6 months.

              And beware that a securely tied bumper will turn into a convenient step. Anything in a crib can be used as a step by a kid who wants out.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      My wife is a wheelchair, and the drop side makes it possible. We considered hinges and opening like a door, but that wasn’t available off the shelf. We went with the drop side with the understanding I would modify if necessary.

      Now we are on our second child and the crib has been recalled. If I follow their requirements the crib won’t be usable.

    • P=mv says:

      The sheer number of recalls for drop-side cribs I’ve seen on this site due to death and serious injury have convinced me that no child of mine will ever sleep in one. I don’t care how convenient they are, I’d rather have a solid crib and avoid the chance of permanent damage to a child than bask in convenience and find it dead one morning.

  3. Veeber says:

    The drop side makes it easier to enter and exit. As the infant gets older you need to lower the bed to make it difficult for them to climb out (and subsequently fall). This makes it difficult to reach them if they are lying down or set them down gently if they fell asleep in your arms. We ended up just moving her to a full size mattress on the floor and eliminated the crib completely once she showed a desire to climb out.

  4. itonix says:

    Cribs are just a silly fashion accessuary for new parents.
    Especially the ones which pretend to be more than a cage.
    We used the cheapest IKEA crib with no surprises.
    Refrigerator box nailed down to old coffee table would work just fine till kid starts gnawing holes.

  5. diasdiem says:

    How hard can it be to design a crib that won’t kill your kid? It’s pretty much just a cage for children.

  6. Spaceman Bill Leah says:

    This is the second recall for our damn crib. I think the SpaceToddler is going to find himself in a big boy bed sooner than he would probably like.

  7. pb5000 says:

    Our toddler stopped sleeping well in his crib at around 30 months old. We switched to the big boy bed with guardrails and he sleeps great, loves it.

    • diasdiem says:

      My sister switched her boy over to a little daybed, low to the ground like a futon, around the time he turned 2. Just put an alarm on his door she could hear with the baby monitor and toddler gates on the hallway.

  8. LoneHighlander says:

    I can’t see where it’s profitable for manufacturers to make drop-side cribs at all anymore. They won’t need to be banned; manufacturers will get tired of taking the hit in recalls. I’ve read of crib fatalities where the problem was improper assembly by whoever put the crib together, not the manufacturer. I believe the cribs are safe when put together properly and equipped with a properly fitting mattress. This time it’s Stork Kraft and Fisher Price, last time it was Simplicity. Who will want to make these cribs after this?

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      “I believe the cribs are safe when put together properly and equipped with a properly fitting mattress.”

      There’s an argument that baby products in general (and cribs in particular) should be idiot-proof and impossible to put together wrong, because they so often are handed down, resold, etc., and manuals get lost and so on. I read an economics paper not too long ago that argued there was a large economic benefit to idiot-proofing baby products (especially strollers, cribs, carseats, etc.; not toys and clothes as much) EVEN IF manufacturers keep the sale price the same but have increased manufacturing costs as a result … largely because of the recalls and lawsuits.

      I have been impressed with the excellent design and safety of some baby products, and the terrifyingly bad design (difficult to put together, bad instructions that are barely English, easy to make dangerous errors, etc.) and poor safety of others … and what has struck me is that it has very little to do with price.

      • LoneHighlander says:

        I can see the point in aiming for “idiot-proof” design in all items for infants, however I don’t think there’s such a thing as idiot-proof. I’ll also agree that it’s important for manufacturers to plan their products to last well into the secondary sale market. I’m just not sure they’ll ever be able to accomplish this with drop-side cribs.

        My firstborn slept in a recalled drop-side crib from Simplicity. Their recall was based on fatalities from improper assembly. We never had any problems with the crib because we installed it right. We eventually converted it into a toddler bed and she used it until she outgrew it. Our six month old will use it once we can get sleep schedules lined up between the two kids (sleeping in the same room).

  9. BigBoat2 says:

    So scary, we’re expecting our first soon.

  10. WinnipegDragon says:

    Here is my problem with this. This is the second recall on this crib, and the first one took 2 weeks of trying to get through to the phone line or the website, and the repair kit took over eight weeks to arrive.

    With this recall, you are supposed to stop using the crib immediately. So what do you do for three months while you wait? My child (the second to use this crib) is too big for a playpen.

    So, off the to the local store, to pick up the only model they have left in stock, thanks to a run on cribs across town after this recall. $650 out of pocket. Thanks so much Storkcraft.

  11. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    Babies R’ Us won’t carry drop side cribs anymore. Pretty much a death knell, if you ask me. We got a “solid” crib from them and are perfectly happy.

  12. bnelson333 says:

    Drop side cribs are not the problem, let’s not be in such a rush to ban them entirely.

    Any parent who’s ever tried to get a sleeping baby into their crib without waking up will appreciate the need for a drop side crib. Even more so if you’re short like my wife, she would need a foot stool just to get the baby in and out of the crib, which in itself doesn’t sound very safe.

    The problem is the cheap hardware. Any company could make these cribs perfectly safe if they properly engineered the hardware. We have a drop side crib, it cost us over $300, but it has a pin/track system that I think would be all but impossible for the baby to open. Unless he can lift the rail, depress the bottom of it from the outside, lower it 75%, hold it there, and kick out the bottom (from the underside of the crib) with as much force as an average adult can exert. It also has a lip on the upper part of the rail that makes it nearly impossible to remove the upper rail from the track. Expensive crib yes, but worth the safety and convenience, and also not part of this recall.

    • WinnipegDragon says:

      The issue is not the kid triggering the release mechanism, it’s that they used shoddy plastic that can break under normal usage, creating a gap the baby can roll into and suffocate.

    • hotdogsunrise says:

      Which is unfortunate, because they were saying on the news that all drop side cribs will be banned. That is the goal of the Consumer Protection Safety Commission(?). Maybe? I don’t remember if that was the name, but if it’s not, it should be!

      So if there’s no drop side cribs, then how will those of us who are vertically challenged and/or handicapped be able to get their babies in and out of cribs? What are the other alternatives?

  13. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    I don’t want to minimize the recall at all, but almost all of us Gen-Xers were put in drop side cribs and this was never a reported issue back then. Maybe we have better reporting?

  14. nbs2 says:

    Ours used a pack and play until she was ready for a bed. Now she’s on a floor level mattress while I dream of a non-rainy, non-shanghaied, Saturday to finish repainting her bed.

    It was a bit more work to put her down when she fell asleep, but not that much.

  15. Dimitrii says:

    My lovely bride’s father made the crib that she and her brothers were in as babies. It has been passed around for each of the grand kids as well. He is very safety conscience and has repaired and modified it to meet current standards. When there was clothing catching on corner post recalls and redesign requirements he made that change. When there was the last big drop side design change recall he replaced his own solid baby proof method with purchased hardware that met the new standard. We used it for our two kids and noticed that the new mechanism was getting worn and flimsy. I converted it to as solid side by locking the mechanism with screws.

    When it was destined for another grandkid I didn’t know how to break it to him that his excellently crafted crib would need to be repaired yet again. I wish he had left the original mechanism on as it was so well constructed that it didn’t show any of the wear and flimsiness of the new one.

  16. savvy9999 says:

    LOL big fat 503 error on the company website. Crib broken, site broken, everything broken.

  17. jeffs3rd says:

    Oye. We have a StorkCraft dropside crib. It’s a wonderful unit that, what I always thought, was really well engineered, and our construction of the thing went pretty well.

    My question is this: are they just going to send out new hardware, or are they going to replace or refund? Of course their site is down.

  18. Hi says:

    Gee I just sent Consumerist an email saying something along these lines:

    How come every product such as cribs gets recalled when a child is hurt yet when children and adults are hurt by vaccines they don’t recall them? So isn’t it ok to keep using these cribs? Only a few children have died because of them… it’s RARE.. you know like it’s RARE that people develop GBS after taking the vaccines. Hello? Any real truthful common sense people out there?

  19. webweazel says:

    What people seem to be missing… (from the linked article)

    The cribs’ drop-side plastic hardware can break, deform, or parts can become missing. In addition, the drop-side can be installed upside-down, which can result in broken or disengaged plastic parts. All of these problems can cause the drop-side to detach in one or more corners. When the drop-side detaches, it creates space between the drop-side and the crib mattress. The bodies of infants and toddlers can become entrapped in the space which can lead to suffocation. Complete detachment of drop-sides can lead to falls from the crib.

    The cribs in and of themselves are NOT dangerous. SO, if somebody doesn’t RTFM when putting it together, and does it wrong, OR the hardware is damaged or broken, is when this causes the danger.

    The only people that this should affect are people who are too stupid to put things like this together, or too stupid to NOT put their kids in beds with broken hardware. The manufacturers of these cribs would easily send replacement parts if the hardware gets broken or damaged.

    Probably the future solution for the manufacurers would be to (1) beef up the hardware (2) have it already installed on the rails right out of the box (3) a big sticker saying “this end up” for installing the drop-side.

    • Spaceman Bill Leah says:

      You are missing part of the issue. The hardware can break AFTER assembly as part of normal wear and tear from regular use. It’s not just incorrect installation that is causing the defect.

  20. SJHartley says:

    How does shit like this happen? Of all the R&D that goes into developing and producing a product, how does the possibility of KILLING a child that can’t defend itself somehow “slip through the cracks”? Shit like this makes me sick.

  21. CapitalC says:

    I’ve got one of these drop-side cribs and I’ve already replaced the lower hardware from a previous recall, but I don’t intend on ceasing usage of it with child #2. What I WILL do is drive a couple of long screws into the top and bottom rails to make it a non-drop-side crib. My wife will find that inconvenient but I’m tall so whatever.

  22. corporatepoop says:

    Cribs that entrap babies, strollers that chop off people’s fingers…I had no idea parenting was such a high-risk lifestyle.

  23. ycnhgm says:

    All my three kids have been sleeping in the same Stork Craft crib we purchased five years ago. I agree with poster above: a) follow the instructions on how to put that thing together correctly. If you don’t know how to do it hire somebody. b) If a part breaks, stop using the crib or at least fix it (a good amount of duct tape, for example, will secure the side just fine).

    Somebody asked what the purpose of drop-side cribs is. The older the kid the more you have to lower the mattress so that the toddler cannot just climb out. My wife, for example, would not be able to put our youngest in if it wasn’t for the side that can be lowered because she’s too short to reach the bottom. Since the child is still too young to get into his own bed (short of just putting a mattress on the floor, I guess) we have no choice but to keep using the crib.

    • henrygates3 says:

      Well, true, but usually they are standing and ready to go by the time you get to their crib. Much easier to get them out.

  24. henrygates3 says:

    We went with the solid crib for just this reason. Having the dropdown seemed unnecessary. I’m sure what happens is that the ‘testing’ doesn’t cover impatient parents slamming the crib side down when it hangs up or won’t work right, and the cheap made-to-the-lowest-bidder Chinese plastic rails and clips just shatter from heavy use.

    The entire problem would be solved by using metal slide rails and brackets.

  25. Serenefengshui says:

    Crib = waste of money. Just co-sleep. Co-sleeping reduces risk of SIDS and facilitates breastfeeding.

    • chego says:

      yes, save the money sleep with your babies.

    • Aphasia says:

      What you said. Only for some, it -does- help to have a crib sidecarred to the bed. We got an inexpensive Ikea crib and set it up with one side removed at the same level as our bed. Great for early morning snuggles with the husband without a baby kicking me in the butt, and converts into a toddler bed. And no moving parts. But yeah, co-sleeping = better, safer, and sleepy babby snuggles are awesome.

  26. ExpertRECALL says:

    Storkcraft is no longer just in the crib business – it is in the child safety business. The company is taking the right steps by issuing the recall, but there are steps both Storkcraft and its customers can take to ensure that this is an effective recall. Mike Rozembajgier talks about this in more detail here: http://bit.ly/5CuGSi.