VIDEO: What's So Dangerous About Drop-Side Cribs?

So 2 million drop-side cribs were recalled this morning, but what is it about drop-side cribs that leads to can lead to baby entrapment, even death? What should you do if you own a drop-side crib? What’s the deal with the immobilizer devices? How do you test it to make sure its safe? Can I fix the crib myself? The CPSC answers these questions and more in a new video released this morning:

TRANSCRIPT:

0:05 What is a drop-side crib?
0:07 A drop-side is a movable side of the crib that gives mom, dad,
0:11 grandmom or any caregiver easier access to the inside of the crib.
0:15 A traditional drop-side slides up and down.

0:18 Are all drop-side cribs bad?
0:21 Not necessarily.
0:22 CPSC only hears about cribs with problems, not the ones that are fine.
0:26 On the whole, a drop-side crib has a tendency to be less structurally sound
0:30 than an identical fixed sided crib and thus it is more susceptible to problems from use,
0:36 being moved, storage and assembly.

0:38 How can I tell whether my crib is safe for my baby?
0:41 Every time you change the sheets, check that all visible hardware – every bolt, screw,
0:46 track and clamp – is securely in place.
0:50 Make sure the drop-side is on its track and functions well.
0:53 With the mattress out of the crib, wiggle the crib to see how tight all the joints are.
0:59 If the crib remains wobbly after tightening all hardware,
1:02 look for loose wood-to-wood joints that may be causing the problem.
1:07 Stop using the crib if loose wood-to-wood joints are found
1:10 or if you cannot fully tighten any screw.
1:14 Also, if one side of your crib is loose, do NOT push the loose side
1:18 against a wall and continue to use the crib.
1:20 The wall, along with a loose side, can create a space
1:23 in which a child can get caught and smother.

1:26 What are immobilizers?
1:28 Should I use one?
1:30 Immobilizers are protective devices that stop drop sides from moving up, down and outwards.
1:36 If your manufacturer makes an immobilizer specifically for your crib,
1:40 CPSC staff recommends that you get one and install it on your crib.
1:44 Only use immobilizers on cribs that don’t have missing or broken hardware.
1:48 These devices protect your crib’s hardware and limit movement so that a child can’t get stuck
1:53 between the dropside and the rest of the crib.

1:54 Can’t I just fix my crib myself?
1:59 Do NOT try to fix your crib.
2:01 Do-it-yourself crib repair can be very dangerous and the results can be deadly.
2:06 Infants and toddlers have died in cribs with makeshift repairs.
2:09 Untested screws can loosen and all kinds of tape, wire, and zip ties stretch –
2:14 no matter how tight they may be at first.

2:17 My crib has a drop side but I don’t use it.
2:21 Do I still need to check my crib?
2:23 Yes, you should always do regular checks on your crib to make sure
2:27t hat components are tight and not broken.
2:30 Parts can still break or become loose, even if the drop side is not used.
2:34 My crib has broken or missing pieces.

2:36 Now what? Stop using the crib and contact the manufacturer and report the problem to the CPSC.

2:42 Stop using my crib?
2:44 So where do I put my baby to sleep?
2:47 If your baby is less than six months old and is not yet able to push up on their hands
2:51 and knees, you can put your baby in a bassinet.
2:54 If your child is older, you can use a play yard.
2:57 If you believe your child is too big or able to climb out of a play yard,
3:00 use a mattress on the floor or a toddler bed.

3:03 Final Screen: Look for crib recalls @ http://www.cpsc.gov/cgi-bin/cribs.aspx

Here’s links to all the 2,000,000+ cribs recalled this morning.