By: Lori Wallace-Roberts
Perhaps one of the biggest investments you’ll initially make, as a new parent or a parent-to-be, is the purchase of the baby crib where your little bundle of joy will sleep. And while part of the joy in creating a space for your baby is shopping at an upscale baby boutique, designing a room around a specific theme and picking baby furnishings that will match that theme, what’s even more important is your child’s safety.
For the first time in nearly 30 years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) adopted considerable new rules for baby cribs, which took effect on June 28, 2011. And while the long, technical text of the CPSC’s new rules might not be something you, as a parent or child care provider, want to read, it’s imperative to understand the rules and how they affect you.
Basically, the new federal rules apply to all full-size and non full-size cribs that are manufactured, sold or resold. The main focus of the requirement prohibits the manufacture, sale or resale of traditional drop-sided cribs. In addition, the mandate calls for strengthening mattress supports and crib slats, improving hardware and requiring more stringent testing. Finally, new instructions are intended to provide clearer instructions regarding the assembly of the crib.
Unfortunately, traditional drop-side cribs have resulted in at least 32 infant fatalities since 2000. These new regulations aim to eliminate these types of tragedies and provide a safer sleep experience for infants and a less worrisome environment for parents and caregivers. The new standard makes it a requirement that all four sides of the crib are fixed solidly in place and aren’t moveable in any way.
You might be wondering what was wrong with the old-style cribs. Oftentimes, due to poor manufacturing or improper assembly, the moveable drop-sides of the crib weren’t installed correctly and allowed infants to become stuck or trapped in the space between the rail and the mattress.
And while you, as a parent, are not required to get rid of a drop-sided crib if you already have one, you should definitely consider the purchase of a new, safer crib. California Cozy’s eclectic line of baby cribs meets all current safety regulations. And remember, if you ultimately decide to get rid of that old crib, you cannot sell it anywhere, including eBay, Craigslist or even a yard sale.
In addition to the elimination of drop-sided cribs, the standard provides for stronger mattress supports and crib slats that don’t break as easily as the ones on the older models. Additional devices are now included to help prevent screws from coming loose and secure hardware in a stronger manner.
Places such as day care centers and hotels aren’t required to comply with the new law until the end of 2012. So, if your little one is in day care or you use a crib at a hotel while you’re on vacation, you might want to see if the crib meets the new requirements. If not, check to ensure that all hardware is tightened and that the crib is sturdy and in good working order.
Even though you may yearn to use the crib you slept in as a baby or an heirloom that’s been handed down through generations, it’s just not a good idea. Start a new tradition by purchasing new, safer baby furniture that you can pass down to your loved ones. The simple fact is this. There is nothing more important than your baby’s safety.