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July 20, 2010: CPSC Approves New Drop-Side Crib Standards

On July 14, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted (5 to 0) to approve proposed new mandatory standards to address the hazards posed by full-size and non-full-size cribs.

Serious safety hazards with cribs have ranged from drop-side hardware or other drop-side entrapment issues to failures of the mattress support and detachment or breakage of the crib slats. These defects create potentially hazardous gaps allowing a baby to become entrapped and suffocate, or fall out of the crib.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) directs CPSC to issue mandatory safety standards for durable infant or toddler products. CPSCs notice of proposed rulemaking ("NPR") for cribs includes:

1.     a standard for full-size cribs that is substantially the same as ASTM F 1169-10, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Full-Size Baby Cribs, with one modification. The one modification that CPSC is proposing to the ASTM full-size crib standard would require cribs to be tested without the re-tightening of screws between tests in order to ensure that the tests reflect the lifetime use of the crib; and

2.     a standard for non-full-size cribs that is substantially the same as ASTM F 406-10, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Full-Size Baby Cribs/Play Yards, with certain modifications. These modifications include adding certain requirements that apply to full-size cribs, such as the mattress support performance requirement, the side-impact test, and the order in which performance tests are to be done, applicable to non-full-size cribs so that the new standard for non-full-size cribs is more stringent. The proposal also would restore movable side latch tests to the non-full-size crib standard and would clarify that the proposal does not extend to play yards.

Improved consensus standards were approved June 1, 2010 through close collaboration with ASTM International, consumer groups, industry and other juvenile product experts. These standards incorporated key safety requirements recommended by CPSC staff. The ASTM standards and the proposed CPSC standards contain design requirements that essentially ban the up and down movement of an entire side of the crib. CPSC staff is working to finalize the proposed mandatory crib standards in 2010.

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