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Do you have a drop-side crib or a crib with movable parts? If you answered yes, your baby could be in danger. Read on to find out how to protect your child.

Imagine that you tucked your toddler into his or her crib for the night, unaware one of the screws fastening the headboard to the side rail had become loose. As you slept in the room next door, the baby monitor on, your toddler became trapped between the unsecured side rail and headboard, suffocating to death in a mere 15 seconds. You heard nothing. In the morning, you awoke to find your toddler lifeless in the crib. Over the past decade, the California Injury Lawyer has worked on numerous defective product injury and fatality cases just like this one. 

Drop-side cribs are silent killers. Throughout the last 10 years, a total of 32 infants and toddlers have suffocated to death after becoming trapped in the opening created when a segment of the drop-side crib detached, according to reports collected by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission between January 2000 and May 2010. In addition, 14 infants were fatally trapped in cribs in accidents that could be at least partially attributed to a malfunctioning drop-side feature. 

A crib with mobile parts is inherently dangerous like other playground child dangers, explains a California Injury Lawyer. Even if the hardware—the screws and metal components—is not faulty to begin with, the stress exerted on these parts of the crib from continuous use is bound to wear them out. If poor quality wood or hardware was used to construct the crib, an accident is likely to occur sooner. Mattresses with inadequate support have also contributed to the high number of crib-related infant and toddler fatalities in the last decade.

The reaction of many parents to the escalating number of fatalities resulting from drop-side-crib accidents has safety advocates and child injury lawyers worried. Despite statements issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics discouraging parents from having their babies sleep alongside them at night, many parents have brought their toddlers to bed with them, afraid of cribs altogether. 

Like recalled stollers, on July 14, after 12 recalls of drop-side cribs throughout the country in the last 5 years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission proposed something that the California Injury Lawyer has been advocating for years: to ban drop-side cribs, as well as institute new safety regulations for all cribs. The news came on the same day that 82,000 drop-side cribs were recalled by Pottery Barn Kids. By the end of 2010, contingent on a 75-day public review, the CPSC plans to implement the ban. Once effective, the sale and manufacture of drop-side cribs will be illegal; the construction of cribs will also be regulated to ensure the use of sturdy wood and hardware, as well as sufficient mattress support.  

If you have a drop-side crib or a crib with movable parts, replace it with a stationary one immediately. This silent killer has tragically impacted too many lives. 

James Ballidis is a defective product lawyer and the author of several books on defective product accident claims. If you would like to request a copy of one of his books or need legal advice from the California Injury Lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596.

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