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  • It was a unanimous vote by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban the manufacture, sale and resale of the cribs, which have a side rail that moves up and down, allowing parents to more easily lift their child from the crib. The new standard requiring cribs to have fixed sides would take effect in June. Drop-side cribs have come under scrutiny in recent years because of malfunctioning hardware, sometimes cheaper plastics, or assembly problems that can lead to the drop-side rail partially detaching from the crib.

    In the past five years, more than nine million drop-side cribs have been recalled, including cribs from big-name companies such as Evenflo, Delta Enterprise Corp. The new standard mandates tougher safety testing for cribs, tests that more closely mimic a child in a crib. As children get older, they can apply more force to the crib — shaking on it, running around in it, jumping up and down.

    They give your baby a cosy, womb-like place to sleep that moves with his movements to help soothe him, and are wonderful for particularly fractious babies. Parents who are using drop-side cribs are advised to check the hardware on the cribs to be certain it's working properly and to make sure their crib has not been recalled.

    The new tests aim to make sure the cribs can take that kind of pressure. Better labeling on crib pieces will also be required — a measure that aims to cut down on the misassembly problems that some parents have encountered, problems that can lead to the death of a child.

    When that happens, it can create a dangerous 'V'-like gap between the mattress and side rail where a baby can get caught and suffocate or strangle.

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    In all, drop-side cribs have been blamed in the deaths of at least 32 infants and toddlers since They are suspected in another 14 infant fatalities. Michele Witte of Merrick, N.

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    Parents who lost their children in drop-side cribs say Wednesday's ban couldn't come soon enough. Chad Johns, whose nine-month-old son, Liam, died in a drop-side crib in , said he was a little relieved. And last year, the organization that sets voluntary industry standards — ASTM International — approved a drop-side ban.

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  • Many parents, however, still have drop-sides in their homes. They can also be found at secondhand stores.

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    Parents who are using drop-side cribs are advised to check the hardware on the cribs to be certain it's working properly and to make sure their crib has not been recalled. The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which represents over 90 per cent of the crib industry, says properly assembled drop-sides that haven't been recalled can be safely used.

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