Reacting to numerous tragedies over the past few decades, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has passed new regulations requiring safer cribs for children. The focus of the new rules is on the drop-side design, which allows one side of the crib to be raised and lowered so parents have easier access to their infants. These cribs have been shown to malfunction, creating large gaps in the frame for infants to crawl through. The drop-side cribs are blamed for at least 32 infant deaths from falls or strangulation since 2000. Addressing this danger has been a focus of the CPSC in recent years. Since 2007, the agency has recalled more than 11 million cribs.
The new rules passed unanimously by the CPSC in December ban the drop side design and require tighter fittings, more durable sides and mattress supports. The regulations also implement tougher safety tests before new cribs are made available to the public. The rules go into effect in June 2011 for cribs manufactured, sold or leased in the United States. Child care facilities have two years to comply.