Government Bans Drop-Side Rail Cribs

In order to prevent kids from dying, the government has issued a ban on selling or making traditional drop-side cribs. If the gate or slate on the side of the crib gets loose, a baby can fall in there and get trapped, eventually hanging themselves to death.

The ruling came after the new CPSC czar came onboard with a mission to overhaul the agency which had long been perceived as the manufacturers’ handmaiden. Crib safety was her top priority and investigating the backlog of complaints against faulty cribs revealed disturbing trends with regard to drop-side cribs, leading to today’s broad ban.

It may not seem like much at the time, but every complaint you file can make a difference, eventually.

Government bans traditional cribs [Chicago Tribune] (Thanks to Harper!)

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  1. obits3 says:

    “In order to prevent kids from dying”

    That made me giggle a bit.

  2. Mr Grey says:

    Now tho, we will have kids injured when short parents use step stools to place their children in cribs.

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      Or wheelchairs. How is someone in a wheelchair supposed to put their kind in and out of a crib now?

      • obits3 says:

        Crib ramp?

      • Anathema777 says:

        My wheelchair-bound neighbor sawed the legs of the crib so it’s low enough for her to put the baby in.

        • lolBunny says:

          This would be my solution too if I needed the crib shorter. Safe and smart :)

        • Skittl1321 says:

          Hopefully someone will be smart and start selling low to the ground cribs before I have my first kid!

          At 5 ft tall, I can’t get a baby out of a crib without a drop side (or I suppose now a stool- that sounds scary). Once the baby can start reaching, and is old enough to be pulled up a bit by the hands, then I can get them out.

        • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

          You can also buy ones without legs at IKEA, iirc

      • kalaratri says:

        The make ones with sides that swing open instead of drop down.

    • Rose says:

      I skipped the crib and kept my kiddos in Pack ‘n’ Plays, which are portable, foldable, and most importantly short cribs.

      • kujospam says:

        Thats what we did for our 2nd and now our 3rd. We took apart one side of the drop down crib and use it as a nice big changing table, and a place to store all that stuff.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      My kid slept in a blanket-lined Rubbermaid tub for the first few months of her life. She was a preemie & I got one of the small, shallow tubs and put it right next to me in bed. Best thing I ever did. Saved me some money, gave me the peace of mind of being close to her(I actually slept with my hand on her cause I was so worried she’d quit breathing), plus I didn’t have to get out of bed to take care of her during the night :)

    • NumberSix says:

      Its a plot to cull short people from the gene pool.

  3. Tim says:

    First Obama regulated health care. Then he regulated the banks. Then he regulated cars. Then he regulated the Internet. (Not necessarily in that order. Oh, and none of these were regulated at all before.)

    Now he’s regulating where our babies sleep.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Huh? Banks, never regulated? Wow. You need a good history lesson.

      Contrary to your belief, Obama is not the root of all evil. Look at all your elected republicrat officials and appointed bureaucrats. A glance in the mirror might be informational, too.

    • billin says:

      Right, because the government never, ever put safety regulations into effect before Obama.

      I’m just curious – what color is the sky in your world?

    • Buckus says:

      Banks have been regulated before. They just eventually convinced the govt that they could “Self-regulate” effectively.

      That turned out well….

    • Mr. Pottersquash says:

      how dare the gov try to save you from a product that every 2 wks we have to recall. How dare they.

      Frankly this is less about the kids and more about the economic waste.

    • JennQPublic says:

      Yeah, talk about a nanny state. If I want to put my kids in a crib with a good chance of them dying, that’s my right as an American!

      Also, that’s natural selection.

      • dgm says:

        Statistics fail.

        They don’t have a “good chance” of dying. In fact, they have a pretty lousy chance of it, given that there were 35 in ten years.

        They stand a far better chance of drowning in the home, by at least an order of magnitude.

  4. Consumeristing says:

    Geez, what doesn’t kill babies?

  5. danmac says:

    Great…now I have to think of new Christmas presents for all of my relatives who have small babies I hate.

    • Firethorn says:

      Do what my parents do – shop for the toy that makes the loudest, most annoying noise you can find. Odds are the tyke will LOVE making it make noise.

  6. RayanneGraff says:

    Haha, take THAT, Darwin!

  7. aloria says:

    After nearly dropping their baby a few times trying to take her out of her crib, some short statured friends of mine decided ditched the crib completely and started keeping the baby in a large tupperware bin.

    No, I am not even kidding.

  8. keepher says:

    Force them to be made in the US and the problem will disappear. I had one, my daughter had mine and her children had ours. That means the crib was over 40 years old, made here in the US and none of the babies that slept and played in them died.

    So fix the real problem, don’t let China made crap in to our country any more.

    • Ihaveasmartpuppy says:

      Cheap Chinese cribs = BAD. We have a very nice Canadian made drop side crib in our attic. It cost a fortune and is made beautifully. It held both our kids and a few relatives’ kids too without a problem. Not sure what to do now, maybe convert it to a fixed side? I guess we’ve been saving it for possible grandchildren (YEARS from now….hopefully).

    • Groanan says:

      Right, because American workers are known for caring profusely about the products they create and American companies are known throughout the world for their high quality and safety standards?

      China is where things are made.
      China, like America, has both people who do the right thing because they take pride in their work, and people who cut corners because short term profit is the main factor driving their business.

      The drop side crib is dangerous regardless who makes it – babies should be kept in giant bowls.

    • KyleOrton says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivorship_bias

      I am 100% certain that any babies who died in the same model of crib you referred to will not brag on a blog that didn’t kill their grandchildren.

      This is the same BS logic that leads to my wife’s grandmother whining that my wife’s dad, aunt and brother used a high chair (with no passive restraint to keep them from sliding through and a tray with a STEEL on STEEL sliding mechanism that could sever even my finger) and they’re fine.

      That crib was probably made about the same time children would stand in the back of a car and hold on to a metal T-bar to keep their balance.

      • mythago says:

        +1. So tired of “well WE chewed on arsenic-impregnated sandpaper when WE were kids and WE turned out fine so blah blah whiners blah wharrgarbl kids today!”

        • JennQPublic says:

          I remember my friend complaining about how they changed the law while we were teenagers to require us to wear helmets until we were 18, and how she got an expensive ticket at 17 for not wearing one.

          Me: So why did they have you pulled over to know you weren’t 18 yet?
          Her: I got hit by a car.
          Me: Oh. Were you okay?
          Her: Yeah, except for the concussion.

      • esc27 says:

        Not that an older crib won’t have other problems, but most of the stories I’ve read about drop side cribs come down to poor design or materials (plastic…) Well built cribs like keeper is probably thinking of or the one my parent’s still have could not separate or fail like the cheaper models prompting this rule.

  9. Alvis says:

    But what about the carpenters? Won’t SOMEone think of the carpenters??

    • guymandude says:

      Dude… that’s hysterical. Now if I can just figure out how to get the coffee and snot out of my keyboard. ;)

  10. Groanan says:

    Was leaving infants imprisoned and unsupervised ever a good idea anyway?

  11. dgm says:

    35 deaths over ten years? Overreact much?

    What about the roughly 25,000 deaths due to SIDS during the same period? Why couldn’t we spend some of the resources wasted on this to do more research on something that would have a real impact?

    And as with any federal ban on common goods, there will now emerge a black-market for “pre ban” cribs.

    This law actually makes it illegal for people to sell their used cribs, which is pretty amazing. How on earth would you EVER enforce that?

    • mythago says:

      False dilemma. It really is possible to investigate SIDS and to eliminate dangerous baby furniture from the market.

      (And SIDS? Why, we should be spending money on keeping kids from dying in car accidents!)

      • Firethorn says:

        Proportionality – The figures we have are 3.5 deaths per year for drop-sides, 2,500 from SIDS, and 430 from car accidents(from Southern, a couple posts down).

        Now figure in how many car accidents came from parents NOT using a car seat, and I end up thinking that we’ve pretty much ‘solved’ the car accident problem, at least compared to SIDS. More education why car seats are necessary, and how to use them right along with making them easier to use right is probably good, but newer cars combined with a good seat already provide a huge amount of protection for babies.

        Heck, in 2009, 430 babies (under the age of 5, anyway), were killed in automobile accidents. Why don’t they ban having a baby in a moving car?

      • dgm says:

        The point is that this is another example of stupid overreaching by the federal government, and it’s actually not even useful. Not that useful overreaching is a good thing either.

        If the federal government decided to start banning every common household thing that causes infants to die, we would no longer have bathtubs, 5 gallon buckets, pools or spas.

        And we would also be prohibited from selling those items.

        Anyone with a drop side crib will have to dispose of it by throwing it away, once they’re done using it.

        Whether it’s a “false dilemma” or not, the point stands that this is a wretched abuse of power.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Do you think the government should not be involved with regulating products designed for children or that they shouldn’t be allowed to ban products?

  12. oldtaku says:

    I you read the text at the end, this works out to deaths per year due to drop side cribs (35 deaths / 3 years ) * ‘half the deaths were drop side’. That’s far safer than just putting your baby in a car. Looks like they’re just flexing their muscles to show the new boss is Taking It Serious.

    • oldtaku says:

      I accidentally the 6. 6 deaths per year.

    • Sparkstalker says:

      “That’s far safer than just putting your baby in a car.”

      By a wide margin. From this article (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101215/ap_on_bi_ge/us_safer_cribs), it’s the confirmed or suspected cause in 46 deaths in the last ten years. But for the 1999-2009 period, 6,475 kids were killed in car accidents….

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      We could have 35 in three years, or we could have zero. We could have one in three years, or we could have zero.

      This isn’t burgers or seat-belts for adults who can make decisions and take risks for themselves and for the sake of luxury. These are babies, and the only luxury being preserved is arguably that of some parents.

      Yes, I know some things are hazardous, (I work in a lab), and yes I know not every life can be saved. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving it a shot.

  13. lawnmowerdeth says:

    Dammit, where am I supposed to store my old lawn darts now?

  14. mobiuschic42 says:

    I’m a little confused by this whole drop-side rail crib fiasco. Haven’t these been around for years? Or is this some new type that they’re deciding to ban? If it’s the former, how did we go so many years without this outcry?

    • menty666 says:

      Yes, my parents had one with me and my sibs, and we’re all alive.

      I used one for my two kids and they’re alive and causing my hair to gray and fall out.

      If the cribs are put together correctly, and made well, then they last and they’re safe.

      But if you buy a cheap crib, it lasts about as well as a dollar store item will. You get what you pay for.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “But if you buy a cheap crib, it lasts about as well as a dollar store item will. You get what you pay for.”

        There’s also a lot of overpriced Chinese junk out there too. It’s often very hard to determine the quality of a product based on price alone.

  15. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    I guess my combo crib slash guillotine is outlawed, huh?

  16. sirwired says:

    Took them long enough. How many recalls have they issued over the last few years for these deathtraps?

  17. Southern says:

    So if only “half” the deaths were attributable to a drop-side crib, why are they not banning ALL cribs? (the other half, according to the article, were the result of structural problems of a (presumably) non-drop-side crib)..

    Heck, in 2009, 430 babies (under the age of 5, anyway), were killed in automobile accidents. Why don’t they ban having a baby in a moving car?

    • jebarringer says:

      Wouldn’t it be far easier to just ban babies completely? Let’s get that cloning thing into high gear and grow our kids in tubes!

  18. Hi_Hello says:

    cribs themselves are dangerous and should be banned. It’s like putting the kids beind bars. There are mental damage a kid get when he is put behind bars without doing anything wrong.

    This is why kids grow up and go to parties and clubs all night. They are rebelling from the unfair trama caused by cribs since they are babies. This lead to drunk driving and alcoholism. And we all know how much drunk driving death occurs in the US. They should do a ban on cars too. Too many lives are lost because of cars.

    • Alter_ego says:

      I know you’re kidding, but I was reading a fark thread once where the original article was about whether or not you should tell your kids the truth about Santa, and this one guy kept insisting you should because when his parents finally told him the truth, he realized that if they lied to him about that, then everything must be a lie. Like how drinking too much and doing drugs are bad for you. And now he’s an alcoholic and it’s all santas fault. So there are people who go there.

  19. The cake is a lie! says:

    The next thing you know the government will ban crib bedding sets because they are dangerously fluffy and children could die. They may also ban couches with removable cushions because kids make forts out of them and get hurt. Then they’ll ban floor wax because it makes kitchen floors too slippery and kids slip and get hurt. Then they’ll ban basements and second floors because stairs are a hazzard. (I could go on, but I think you get the point) The fact is, everything is dangerous and we will all die of something eventually. Some die of stupidity of their own making and others die of stupidity caused by others. You just have to be careful and you can avoid both.

    • Buckus says:

      Maybe instead of banning all that stuff, they’ll just ban kids. They’re to be placed in “Safe” houses (i.e. institutions) until such time as they are deemed able to differentiate between safe and not safe.

      Done.

    • dgm says:

      Ding ding ding! Someone gets it!

      This is stupid and wasteful.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      “The next thing you know the government will ban crib bedding sets because they are dangerously fluffy and children could die.”

      I realize you’re being sarcastic but isn’t crib bedding already heavily regulated? I know mattresses are.

  20. arualflower says:

    This is why children should be kept in a bubble. no sharp edges, no gaps.

  21. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    So, looks like the handmade wooden cradle I slept in was safe after all. It also safely kept my Dad and his three siblings as well. At least if I would have managed to free myself, it was a short drop to the floor.

  22. luusyphre says:

    Just gotta keep babies in giant fish tanks, but then everyone will be complain that they keep drowning :

  23. Razor512 says:

    Why not just have parents teach their babies of the potential problems of a drop-side, that way the baby will know to avoid going too close to the rails?

    Or use a normal full sized bed then attach some Velcro to the baby’s cloth and some to the bed, after that, when you tuck the baby in at night, you know he or she will be where you left them in the morning.

    Of train the baby to classical conditioning. Get a drop-side crib, wrap some copper wire around the bars, then attach the sires to one of those ionic breeze air filters and when ever the baby gets within a few mm of the rails, they will get a little shock and they will move away.

    Or build a custom Plexiglas enclosure that can be attached to the rails. then place a snake in it. The baby wont like the snake and the baby will avoid the rails.

  24. coolteamblt says:

    Call me a horrible parent if you want, but I’m holding desperately on to my drop side crib that got my almost two year old through babyhood for baby number two. I could barely reach him with the side down, there’s no way in hell I can reach a kid with a fixed side crib. Most of the literature I’ve read on these cribs says that kids who died had cribs with loose or broken hardware. So, I just checked my hardware once a week, and guess what? I haven’t killed off my kid yet!

    • Ilovegnomes says:

      (A few years ago, when I was expecting) After examining the newer drop side cribs, I bought a sturdier used one off of craigslist. There was a huge difference in craftsmanship between it and what was on the market. The newer stuff just felt like it was going to fall apart. There were cheap plastic parts that when bumped, would release the side rail. The older one had metal rails and foot locks/release bars on it. It was a lot harder to disengage unless that was your intention.

      I can’t imagine doing it again without a drop side crib. I understand wanting to prevent death and I’m all for that but I’m wondering if they should have taken a closer look at the hardware on the cribs instead of just banning the entire type of crib.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        That’s exactly how I feel. Why not regulate the hardware or have safety requirements vs. banning an entire type of crib?

    • elkhart007 says:

      Did you have the box spring up when your baby was an infant and drop it down farther as they got taller?

      • coolteamblt says:

        Oh yeah. When he was teeny eeny, it was no problem. It was when we moved it down to the second and third positions that it got harder, especially when he was sleeping and I needed to get him up. I’m 5’4″, so I’m not super short. I can’t imagine how I would have taken him in and out if I was a real shortie!

  25. Razor512 says:

    When a family friend went to get a crib for their baby, I helped them build it and the areas for the drop-side were reinforced with some epoxy. I made sure everything was put together right and reinforced where needed.

    These cribs can be safe, just make sure they are put together right and if anything seems like it could come loose, then add some epoxy as long as the part still remains functional. (some items preassembled parts may need to be taken apart to add the epoxy)

    For consumerist readers out there, if you are using a crib like this, invest in some epoxy, that $4 could save your kids life if you have a crib that is at risk of certain parts coming loose.

    When you no longer need the crib, the epoxied parts can be a bit annoying to take apart (nothing a hammer cant fix)

  26. peebozi says:

    Why does the government hate America and free markets?

    If this is really a problem (afterall, there is an overpopulation problem facing earth) wouldn’t the market work itself out?

    • elkhart007 says:

      Because a free market eventually evolves into poor choices available to consumer as shareholders have to be fed.

  27. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    When will window blinds with *any* sort of dangling cords be banned?

  28. elkhart007 says:

    The problem is that older cribs were built quite well. Now they’re made quite cheap. I had to get a part replaced when bought the one for our son before he was born. It was missing a pressed in nut. We went round and round with 3 different companies because the front company (I believe Graco) farmed out the fabrication to another company, there was also a distributor involved. Fast forward to today, the crib was designed very poorly. Shallow, short, plastic rails, pressed in nuts. The whole thing was so flimsy, they’re all that way. He slept in a twin bed better, crib went in the fireplace. We have to protect babies as well as we can, it’s our duty as parents and adults. And those who think this is a waste of time or resources or you don’t like kids, fuck you, simply. You were a kid once, there were less hazards when you were a kid, your parents didn’t have as many things to worry about. Lead paint wasn’t chipping yet, everyone wasn’t medicated for every ill of life, and adults had their lighters in hand because more people smoked.