On Thursday, May 26, the US Consumer Products Safety Commission took a vote on the decision of whether to ban all drop-side rail cribs. The decision was made on the basis of 32 infant deaths, thousands of injuries, and over 9 million cribs that have been recalled thus far.
The logic behind eliminating drop-side rails for good is the space that results between the crib mattress and the railing. This space, USCPSC members attest, is what can be a major cause of infant suffocation. In addition, infants and toddlers may also get stuck, or even fall out of the crib.
The sale of all cribs containing the drop-side rail feature is being discontinued this June, and businesses selling cribs will have to replace every one as soon as possible. Childcare facilities and hotels however, have more leeway. These public facilities must replace their cribs within a 12-month period of time, to meet the demands of the new law. Committee estimates reveal that it may cost these public accommodations $467 million in total across the US.
The demands of manufacturing companies by the law as well as families that need either to replace a current non-complying crib or buy one from the start, however, require a quickened pace. A statement from the USCPSC encourages all public accommodations that serve infants and toddlers to replace their existing cribs "as quickly as the market allows." They recommend replacing the oldest ones first, as those are more likely to be associated with potential hazards.
This new law is expected to be in the federal register by December of 2011.