Although a variety of baby and child products can cause serious injuries, one of the most lethal has been cribs. A number of deaths have occurred in the past several years, many stemming from strangulation and suffocation hazards.
One example is drop-side cribs; infants can become trapped between the slats or even between the mattress and the slats. Recent efforts to improve crib safety have led to a reduction in deaths.
In 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approved mandatory crib standards, such as requiring:
- durable hardware;
- more rigorous testing;
- strengthening crib slats; and
- ceasing the manufacturing and selling of drop-side cribs.
But similar products, such as cradles and bassinets, haven’t been required to follow the same stringent standards yet they pose a serious risk of harm as well. In fact, the CPSC reports that between November 2007 and March 2013, there were 426 reported incidents and 132 fatalities involving cradles and bassinets.
The CPSC passed a new federal mandatory standard, the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Bassinets and Cradles. It makes modifications to the voluntary standard in order to focus on risks not previously addressed.
The federal standard includes the following modifications:
- changes to pass/fail criteria for mattress flatness test;
- exemption from mattress flatness requirement for bassinets that are less than 15 inches across;
- clarification of cradle/bassinet standard;
- change to stability test procedure (using a newborn CAMI dummy instead of an infant CAMI dummy); and
- addition of removable bassinet bed stability requirements.
The new federal standards will not be effective until six months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register. Manufacturers will then have 12 months to comply.
When a baby or child product causes injury or death, an attorney can investigate the matter to determine if a defect is responsible for the accident and resultant injuries. For help, contact Gacovino, Lake & Associates at (800) 246-4878.