Baby Crib Recalls – The Astronomical Cost of Cheap

June 25, 2010

Filed under: Recalls — Baby Eco Trends @ 11:30 pm

Yesterday’s recall of over 2 million baby cribs was just one more in a long series of troubling crib recalls.  When shopping for a crib, parents rightfully assume that if a crib is being offered to consumers, it must have proven to be safe enough for newborns.  Not to mention that even the most economically priced baby crib can be a large financial investment.  Parents do not expect to spend hundreds of dollars & worry every time baby goes down for the night or for a nap.

If you enter the term “crib recall” into the search field of Consumer Reports, you will find a long list of crib recalls that seem to be growing in frequency.  170,000 cribs made by C&T International/Sorelle (sold under the name Golden Baby) were recalled in May of this year.  Simplicity cribs were recalled in April of this year & the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned, ” Do not attempt to fix these cribs”, better to simply remove them from the house.  217,000 Graco cribs (made by LaJobi) were also recalled in April of this year.  The CPSC issued a recall on Generation 2 Worldwide and Childesigns Generation 2 Worldwide and Childesigns full-size cribs in February of this year & was expanded to include their portable crib in March.  In November of 2009, 2.1 million Stork Craft baby cribs were recalled due to “entrapment & suffocation”.

In the last five years, the CPSC has issued 11 recalls on more than 7 million drop-side cribs due to suffocation and strangulation hazards.  Although some were malfunctioning due to improper installation, the vast majority were the result of design flaws.  When the drop side detaches from the crib frame, a gap forms between the mattress & the side.  It’s very easy to imagine the danger this poses to babies.  Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is working on federal legislation that would permanently ban all drop side cribs.  Consumer Reports supports this legislation.  We, at support new standards on drop side cribs but not an outright ban.  We would actually like to see raised standards even for fixed side cribs, but that’s another story.

A drop side baby crib (when built properly) can be a very useful feature – especially for vertically challenged parents.  We feel it’s important to point out that the recalls have been on baby cribs built overseas & almost all were Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) certified; the only one not JPMA certified were the cribs built by Jardine Enterprises of Taipei.  It’s also important to keep in mind that the last round of recalls included mattress supports & some fixed side cribs.  Instead of throwing out the baby with the bath water, it may be more helpful to demand better quality construction of the things we generally accept as safe for baby.

We stand behind our drop side cribs as do the manufacturers that build them for us right here in the USA.  Our manufacturers have never recalled their items & when you see them with your own eyes, it’s easy to see why.  Our manufacturers work on small production scales & build our cribs to last for several generations.  In addition to drop side cribs, they build cribs with fixed sides as well as a few with a drop gate – a happy medium between drop & fixed sides.  Even if you do not plan to use them for more than one baby, the peace of mind is well worth the small investment.

Of course, this gives me an opportunity to drag out the soap box.  Buying American made means you can rest assured your baby is safe while also keeping jobs in our neighborhoods, to say nothing of the difference in the carbon footprint.  Buying a cheap imported crib may result in a high price no one should have to pay.

If you have a crib made by one of the following from 2000 to 2009, contact the manufacturer for further assistance:
Child Craft
Delta Enterprise Corp
Jardine Enterprises
Million Dollar Baby
Simmons Juvenile Products Inc

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