Over the past several years, faulty cribs have led to children being trapped, suffocated or killed while in their beds. Chicago products liability attorneys know that as a result, millions of cribs have been recalled. Unfortunately, Chicago products liability attorneys also know that recalls after children have suffered and even died are unacceptable. Many consumer and parent advocacy groups have long been calling for more stringent crib safety standards and stricter testing for cribs to help avoid unnecessary personal injury and death.
Fortunately, the Chicago Tribune reports that now “it will be illegal in the U.S. to sell or even donate a crib that fails to meet the toughest crib safety rules in the world. Newly required safety tests are so stringent that few cribs in American homes — even those that have escaped recall after recall — are sturdy enough to pass them. As a result, federal regulators recommend that families that can afford to do so buy new cribs and destroy their old ones.”
The new standards create stricter testing and guidelines for cribs, including the following:
New, User-Friendly Labeling: Because most cribs require some assembly by parents (or furniture stores, often for an additional fee) but are often not labeled clearly enough for parents or other unskilled individuals to properly put them together. Many children have sustained injuries when their cribs were put together incorrectly – sometimes even upside down – and could not hold their weight.
Fixed Crib Sides: Drop-side cribs will be banned. The most common type of recall over the past several years occurred when drop-side cribs were found to be hazardous to children – sometimes falling for no reason, trapping or killing sleeping infants.
Second-Hand Regulations: Cribs are often sold or passed on after a child uses them, as babies rarely use their cribs for more than a couple of years at most. These new regulations ban the practice of donating or selling any crib that does not meet the new standards. The CPSC will be monitoring eBay, Craigslist and other second hand selling venues to make sure that the ban is enforced. It is likely that people may not be aware of these new standards, or that they apply to second hand sales or donations.
Chicago personal injury attorneys also advise consumers to follow the recommendation of the CPSC to require proof that your new crib meets the new standards. Certificates are available from manufacturers to verify this information rather than taking the word of the retailer. Most major retailers do not plan to provide the certificates at the time of purchase, but have varying plans to assist consumers who wish to obtain them.
If your child has been injured by a defective crib or other product, you should speak with a Chicago products liability attorney right away. Many people own recalled cribs or other items but cannot afford to purchase replacement items. Speak with a Chicago personal injury attorney right away – you may have options other than purchasing a new item or suffering with a defective product.