On November 24, the head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission said that she promised that swift action would be taken to remove dangerous products that pose risk of personal injury from the market, acknowledging that the agency failed to act quickly enough on a record recall of more than 2 million cribs that have been linked to four deaths.
According to Chairman Inez Tenenbaum, the agency had not advanced the case as quickly as possible, so all of the agency’s resources had been placed on the project.
Approximately 2.1 million drop-side cribs manufactured by Stork Craft Manufacturing of Canada are at issue in the recall. Four infants are reported to have suffocated in the cribs.
According to the CPSC, the recall involves about 1.2 million cribs in the U.S. and nearly 1 million in Canada. The crib began selling in 1993 and nearly 150,000 of them carry the Fisher-Price logo.
Stork Craft insisted the cribs are safe if used properly.
According to Stork Craft chief executive Jim Moore, the four deaths linked to the recall occurred long ago and were due to improper use. He says that parents only need to install a free kit from the company that converts the drop-side to a fixed, immovable side.
On drop-side cribs, one side moves up and down to allow parents, particularly shorter adults, to lift children from the cribs more easily. There have been 110 reported incidents of the drop-side detaching from the Stork Craft cribs, according to the CPSC.
In the case of the Stork Craft an other drop-side cribs, the hardware used to assemble the crib can break, deform, or become missing after years. Problems from assembly mistakes can also arise.
The hardware and problems with assembly can result in the drop-side detaching, creating a dangerous V-like space between the drop-side and crib mattress, where a child could become trapped and suffocate.
More than 5 million drop-side cribs have been recalled within the past two years. One dozen reported child deaths are associated with those recalls.
A ban of the cribs is being considered.
In Suffolk County, New York, legislation has been signed into law banning the sale of any crib with a side that moves up and down.