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Massive recall of cribs due to suffocation of children! Why so late?

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James E. Ballidis
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In a massive product recall, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Manufacturer, Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., recalled 2.1 Million drop side cribs.  These cribs have been sold by major retailers throughout the US.
While news media releases have confirmed the reason for the recall is the possibility of entrapment and suffocation, the reality is that the cause of these incidents is unpredictable failure of the mechanism designed to hold the side of the crib up when the child is alone.
Many parents assume that a crib is a safe area, where a child can play and remain in relative safety, with less intense supervision, while mommy or daddy accomplishes other tasks.  The side of the crib is designed to lower to allow easy access to the child.  It has been falling without warning because of a plastic part failure.  Naturally, a child leaning on this side of the crib can fall out of the crib, become trapped between the bed and the moving side, or pinch hands and feet. 
What is most disturbing is the time it took to recall these cribs.  At least 67 incidents occurred and were reported in the US alone.  These models have been sold for over 20 years.  4 entrapments caused suffocation death, 12 falls have been reported from the crib and the list goes on.  The possibility of injury in such a vulnerable place as a crib was not hard to imagine on the first report of failure.
While we applaud the recall, can we please protect our children earlier?  The function of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission is to immediately make us aware of potential problems.  Even if a recall is not yet warranted, a warning is useful to the diligent parent.  We can keep a look out or even take our own steps to make sure the cribs are safe.  I cannot imagine the pain a family must feel when their child is lost in this way.  It makes me furious, and I hope they seek full legal remedy for their loss.

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