For Indiana product liability lawyers, this is a decision that could not have come too soon. After months of consideration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission this week announced tough new crib safety rules, including a complete ban on drop side cribs, as well as requirements for tougher and more durable crib hardware.
The decision comes after immense pressure by child safety groups, parents and Indiana product liability attorneys who have been concerned about the dozens of deaths and hundreds of crib-related suffocation incidents. There have been at least 32 confirmed reports of infants dying in their cribs from suffocation, entrapment or falls. Besides these, there have been hundreds of incidents reported from around the country, where children nearly suffocated to death after being trapped in the space created by the detached drop side. In these cases, the children were fortunate enough to be rescued by their parents and caregivers.
The CPSC’s announcement of stronger new crib safety rules also comes after millions of drop side crib recalls over the past two years. More than 9 million cribs were recalled by some of the biggest manufacturers. Most of these recalls were related to entrapment/suffocation hazards. One of the biggest design defects in these kinds of cribs is that the drop side which is designed to slide up and down can, over a period of time, become loose, and fall away from the crib, creating a vacant gap. An infant can easily roll over and fall into this space, suffocating in the process. Besides, an infant can also fall through the gap, and sustain serious head injuries.
The CPSC’s new rule would simply ban the manufacture, sale, distribution and importation of these cribs altogether. Besides, crib manufacturers will now have to install crib hardware that is stronger, sturdier and more reliable. According to the CPSC, these are some of the toughest crib safety laws in the world.