Since CPSC approved a new crib rule, your questions have been flowing into us. While most questions have revolved around the drop side, it’s important for you to know that the new standard affects far more than the drop side. A crib’s mattress support, slats, and hardware are now required to be more durable and manufacturers will have to test to new more stringent requirements to prove compliance.
Here are some of your questions along with answers:
- What is the new standard for cribs?
Beginning June 28, 2011, all cribs manufactured and sold (including resale) must comply with new and improved federal safety standards. The new rules, which apply to full-size and non full-size cribs, prohibit the manufacture or sale of traditional drop-side rail cribs, strengthen crib slats and mattress supports, improve the quality of hardware and require more rigorous testing. The details of the rule are available on CPSC’s website at www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr11/cribfinal.pdf.
The new rules also apply to cribs currently in use at child care centers and places of public accommodation. By December 28, 2012, these facilities must use only compliant cribs that meet the new federal safety standards.
- When will the new, safer cribs be available for purchase?
Beginning on June 28, 2011, all cribs sold in the United States must meet the new
federal requirements. After that date, it will be illegal to manufacture, sell, contract to sell or resell, lease, sublet, offer, provide for use, or otherwise place in the stream of commerce a crib that does not comply with the CPSC’s new standards for full-size and non-full-size cribs. This includes manufacturers, retail stores, Internet retailers, resale shops, auction sites and consumers.
- What if I need to purchase a new crib prior to June 28, 2011?
Some compliant cribs may be available before the required date. However, you will not be able tell if the crib is compliant by looking at the crib. So, you may want to ask the retail store or the manufacturer whether the crib complies with 16 CFR 1219, the new federal standard for full-size cribs or with 16 CFR 1220, the new federal standard for non-full-size cribs.
- Is this new regulation simply a ban on all drop-side rail cribs?
No, these are sweeping new safety rules that will bring a safer generation of cribs to the marketplace in 2011. CPSC’s new crib standards address many factors related to crib safety in addition to the drop-side rail. A crib’s mattress support, slats, and hardware are now required to be more durable and manufacturers will have to test to the new more stringent requirements to prove compliance.
- Are all drop-side rail cribs “recalled” because of the new regulation?
There has not been a specific “recall” of all drop-side cribs due to the new regulation. Instead, some manufacturers recently have recalled their cribs in cooperation with the CPSC because a specific defect or risk of harm has been discovered relating to a particular crib. Although these recalls are separate from CPSC’s new crib standards, traditional drop-side cribs will not meet the new crib standards that will take effect on June 28, 2011, and cribs with traditional drop-sides cannot be sold after that date.
- As a consumer, what can I do if I have a drop-side crib?
Some drop-side crib manufacturers have immobilizers that fit their cribs. Drop-side crib immobilizers are devices that are used to secure drop sides to prevent dangerous situations in which the drop-side either partially or fully separates from the crib. As part of a recall, CPSC staff works with companies to provide fixes, or remedies, for products. For drop-side cribs, that remedy has been immobilizers.
Check the CPSC’s website for companies that have recalled their cribs and are providing immobilizers to secure the drop-side on the cribs. These immobilizers were evaluated and approved by CPSC staff for use with these particular drop-side cribs.
If your drop-side crib has not been recalled, you can call the manufacturer and ask if they are making an immobilizer for your crib. Remember, though, that those particular immobilizers have not been tested or evaluated by CPSC staff for use with your specific crib.
Note that a drop side crib, even with an immobilizer installed, will not meet the new CPSC crib standards.
- Is a sturdy, non drop-side crib okay for a consumer to use?
It is unlikely that your current crib will meet the new crib standards. The new standards require stronger hardware and rigorous testing to prove a crib’s durability. If you continue to use your current crib, you are encouraged to check the crib frequently to make sure that all hardware is secured tightly and that there are no loose, missing, or broken parts. Note that after December 28, 2012, child care facilities, family child care homes, and places of public accommodations, such as hotels and motels, must provide cribs that comply with the new and improved standards.
- My drop-side crib has not been recalled, but I am worried about using it with my baby. Can I return it for a refund?
Manufacturers and retailers are not required to accept returned drop-side cribs or to provide a refund. However, individual retailers and manufacturers may conduct promotions or incentives for their customers.
- Is it okay for me as a consumer to resell, donate or give away a crib that does not meet the new crib standards?
A consumer should not resell, donate or give away a crib that does not meet the new crib standards, such as trying to resell the product through an online auction site or donating to a local thrift store. CPSC recommends disassembling the crib before discarding it.
- Is the answer different if a piece (“immobilizer”) has been added to my drop-side crib to prevent the side from moving up and down?
Consumers should not sell or give away a drop-side crib that has an added immobilizer because it still will not meet the new crib standards.
- If I am unable to purchase a new crib, what can I do to keep my baby safe?
If you continue to use your current crib, you are encouraged to:
- a. Check CPSC’s crib recall list to make sure that your crib has not been recalled.
- b. Check the crib frequently to make sure all of the hardware is secured tightly and that there are no loose, missing, or broken parts.
- c. If your crib has a drop-side rail, stop using that drop-side function. If the crib has been recalled, request a free immobilizer from the manufacturer or retailer (particular immobilizer will vary depending on the crib).
- d. Another option is to use a portable play yard, so long as it is not a model that has been recalled previously.
CHILD CARE CENTERS AND HOSPITALS
- My child care center still has drop-side cribs. Are they in violation of the regulation?
No, child care facilities, family child care homes, and places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, have until December 28, 2012, to ensure that the cribs used in their facilities meet the requirements of the CPSC’s new crib standards.
After this date, places of public accommodation may no longer use traditional drop-side cribs or noncompliant cribs and must use cribs meeting the new federal safety standards.
Parents should talk with management about the new standards and the facility’s plan of action for replacing the cribs. Parents also should make sure their baby is not being placed in a recalled crib.
Note: Child care facilities, family child care homes, and places of public accommodation should not resell, donate or give away a crib that does not meet the new crib standards, such as trying to resell the product through an online auction site or donating to a local thrift store. CPSC recommends disassembling the crib before discarding it.
- Are hospitals required to provide cribs that comply with the CPSC’s new crib regulation?
The CPSC crib rules require only certain facilities to provide cribs that comply with CPSC rules. Those places include child care facilities, family child care homes, and places of public accommodation such as hotels and motels. Hospital cribs are regulated by the FDA, and are thus considered to be medical devices. Cribs used in hospitals as medical devices are not required to comply with the new CPSC crib standards.
However, a child care facility that is owned or operated by, or located in, a hospital is required to provide cribs that meet the new crib standards by December 28, 2012.
This original article can be found at http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/03/the-new-crib-standard-questions-and-answers/