|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 1995
Release # 95-161
|CPSC: Kate Premo
(301) 504-0580, Ext. 1187
CPSC Warns Consumers That Used Cribs Can
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
today is releasing a report warning consumers that used cribs are responsible for about 50
infant deaths a year. CPSC released these findings this morning at a press conference with
representatives of industry and children's safety organizations.
"Our message is simple but vital," CPSC chairman Ann Brown said. "The best
investment you can make for your baby is a crib that meets all of CPSC's standards."
According to CPSC's report, cribs account for more deaths of infants than any other
nursery item. About three-fourths of the victims were under one year of age with virtually
all victims under age two. Most of the incidents occurred in the child's home rather than
in daycare or at other locations.
In most cases, infants strangled or suffocated when they became trapped in the crib side
or end that had separated from the rest of the crib because of loose or missing hardware.
Some infants became trapped between an undersized mattress and the side of the crib, in
gaps created by missing or improperly attached mattress supports, or in areas between
broken or improperly spaced slats. Others strangled when clothing or items around their
neck became entangled on the crib corner posts or crib hardware.
The majority of cribs involved in these incidents were previously owned or used. Parents
and caregivers reported obtaining these used cribs as "hand-me-downs" gifts from
friends and relatives or by purchasing them at yard sales, flea markets, and used
Beginning in 1973, CPSC and industry have worked together setting standards for safer
cribs that addressed side height, slat spacing, mattress fit, corner posts, and cutouts in
crib end panels. Since these standards have been in place, infant deaths in cribs have
declined from an estimated 150 to 200 a year to about 50.
"Government and industry are working together to make sure that the cribs you buy are
safe. We're asking parents to do their part by making sure that the crib they use meets
these standards," said Chairman Brown. "A crib is the one place where you should
be able to safely leave your baby unattended. And since babies spend more time in cribs
than any other furniture item, a crib must be safe."
Representatives of industry and consumers, including The Danny Foundation, the Juvenile
Products Manufacturers Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Consumer
Federation of America, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Department of Health
and Human Services, and the National Safe Kids Campaign, joined CPSC at the press
conference. These groups are also promoting safe cribs with a national print campaign to
reach millions of people that will be distributed by pediatricians, retailers, consumer
groups and the public health community. Many of the groups involved in this program are
sponsoring local community efforts to roundup and destroy unsafe used cribs. Used crib
roundups are planned for San Francisco, Denver, Rochester, New York, and in Washington on
September 16 at 10 a.m. in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School parking lot.
Participating retailers, such as Toys "R" US, will offer discounts on new cribs
purchased during Baby Safety Month in September. Several crib manufacturers, such as
Cosco, Simmons Juvenile Products, and Delta Enterprises, will donate new cribs to
low-income families in the area.
CPSC recommends that cribs meet the following safety guidelines:
- No missing, loose, broken, or improperly-installed
screws, brackets, or other loose hardware on the crib or the mattress support.
- No more than 2 3/8 inches between crib slats so a
baby's body cannot fit through the slats. If a soda can fits easily through the slats on a
crib, the spaces between the slats are too wide.
- A firm snug-fitting mattress so a baby cannot get
trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
- No corner posts over 1/16 of an inch above the end
panels (unless they are over 16 inches high for a canopy) so baby cannot catch clothing
- No cutout areas on the headboard or foot board so a
baby's head cannot get trapped.
- A mattress support that does not easily pull apart
from the corner posts so a baby cannot get trapped between the mattress and crib.
- No cracked or peeling paint to prevent lead
- No splinters or rough edges.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000
types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product
or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call
CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a
press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax
machine and enter the release number. Consumers can obtain this release and recall
information or report product hazards to firstname.lastname@example.org.