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 BabyEcoTrends.com 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
Evenflo
Jardine Enterprises
LaJobi
Million Dollar Baby
Simmons Juvenile Products Inc

What Makes Amish Baby Furniture Such a Great Investment?

May 3, 2010

Filed under: Amish Baby Furniture — Baby Eco Trends @ 1:34 am

Last week, we had the opportunity to meet one of the families that makes our baby nursery furniture & tour their workshop.  After a most pleasant drive through bucolic Northern Indiana, we arrived at the birthplace of some of this country’s finest solid hardwood furniture.  Being Hoosiers, we have always associated “Amish” with quality & value.  But for those that do not have the same familiarity with Amish hand crafted furniture, this relatively new cottage industry is sure to elevate your standards of fine furniture.

Not too long ago, during the boom years of this millennium, Northern Indiana was riddled with RV manufacturers, their suppliers and other related businesses.  When the economic downturn wiped these businesses out, the resilient & industrious Amish communities joined forces to create small family owned businesses offering nonpareil Amish baked goods, quilts, furniture & toys.  These much sought after goods were hard to come by in the past, but well worth the search.  Now, thanks to the internet, Amish hand crafted solid hardwood furniture is available to all Americans.

Amish hand crafted furniture is built according to old world standards that call for quality materials, expert hands & an eye for detail.  It is my belief that if we adopted some of the Amish ways, we would never experience another economic downturn (not to mention what it would do for our sense of community).  Unlike most of the practically disposable furniture found at major retailers, Amish furniture is meant to be passed down generation after generation.  If you make something well enough, it will last far longer & cost far less in the long run.

In addition to having a long life span, Amish furniture often transforms to offer multiple uses & save space.  Tables & chairs are built to accommodate a handful or a large group of people.  Our Amish Baby cribs easily change into day beds & eventually full size beds & back to cribs with conversion kits.  Available in 4, 6 & 8 drawers, our Amish Reversible Baby Changing Tables have drawer slides perfectly centered on the sides so that it can be flipped over to make a dresser once baby outgrows diapers.  There is even a high chair that when turned, becomes a rocking horse & turned again, becomes a writing desk.  In the coming months, we plan to feature more of these heirloom quality items.


The Amish are committed to working with other local businesses and source as much of their supplies locally as possible.  The lumber, hardware, stain/paint & even the powder coated mattress springs are made by local family owned businesses.  There are, of course, many other small businesses that indirectly benefit from this kind of local business community.  When one family benefits, they all benefit.  It’s so nice (and so rare these days) to be able to make such a positive impact in an entire community here at home.

Our furniture maker buys lumber from a local, family owned lumber yard that hand selects their wood species to ensure the highest quality.  The lumber is sawn by quality sawyers who make expert decisions about the best way to cut each individual log for maximum beauty & utility.  Once the lumber is shaped into the parts that will make a crib or a dresser, the pieces are joined together using mortise & tenon joints and English dovetails (both in front & back) that offer strength, stability & maximum storage capacity. 

The attention to detail really sets this furniture apart from mass produced pieces that look good brand new but do not stand the test of time.  Floating panels ensure that furniture will not warp or bend with changing climate conditions.  Euroglide full extension drawer slides allow you to fully open drawers effortlessly.  Each piece is hand finished with safe, non toxic, USA made stains but are also available unfinished.  Each coat of stain or paint is allowed to dry completely & then masterfully sanded before another coat is applied.  This, by the way, is one of the reasons why well made furniture takes several weeks to produce.  Once finished, your new piece of heirloom furniture can easily be kept clean with a damp cloth.  With very little care, Amish furniture will retain its unique charm for generation to come & its appearance is only enhanced with age.

 

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You choose the hardwood, you decide if & how it will be finished.  If you require customization, our master craftsmen will honor most requests.  In addition to our current offerings, other wood species, hardware, stain colors & finishing techniques are also available.  Both Baby Eco Trends & our furniture maker are committed to delivering excellent products & exceptional service.  We welcome any & all questions, concerns & feedback.  Thank you for shopping with us & thank you for buying furniture that is sustainably made in the USA!

A word about the Amish:

I encourage anyone interested in the Amish to do a bit of research on their history.  The facts are easy to find and rather interesting.  What I would like to point out is that contrary to popular belief, the Amish are not absolutely opposed to technology.  Most accept that technology is inevitable, what they would like to do is slow its march.  Within the community, the impact of any new technology is widely & openly discussed to determine its impact on family & community ties.  Wouldn’t that kind of thoughtfulness serve us well every time we were faced with the newest wave?  Trips like this always remind me that some of the most amazing things are actually very close to home.

 

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