Effective in June 2011, the manufacture, import, and resale of cribs with a drop-side rail will be banned in the United States. Cribs with drop-side rails, which allow one side to be raised or lowered on tracks for easy access, have been blamed for at least 32 infant deaths since 2000. The cribs can trap, suffocate, and strangle children if the hardware breaks and the side detaches. In addition, more than 11 million cribs have been recalled by the CPSC since 2007.

On December 15, 2010, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) unanimously voted to approve new mandatory standards for full-size and non-full-size cribs which will be effective in June for the manufacture, import, and resale of cribs. In addition to the ban on drop-side cribs, the new rules also mandate safer crib designs and more rigorous testing. Specifically, the rules require:

• Tighter fittings and locking components
• Testing for improved slat strength and side rails
• Testing of the mattress support system
• Tougher tests to simulate wear (jumping, shaking, etc.)

The new crib standards will apply to retailers of both new and used cribs, which means that retailers will need to ensure that their inventory complies with the regulation by June 2011. Cribs must be tested by a third party accredited by the Commission. Retailers should request and review certificates of conformity to the new crib standard from all crib manufacturers before reselling a manufacturer’s cribs. Baby cribs also must comply with all other applicable CPSC requirements, such as the lead content requirements, phthalate content requirements, tracking label requirements, and consumer registration form requirements.

Content for this post was provided by Lauren Patterson in the Washington, DC office of Crowell & Moring.