The deadline is quickly approaching for child care centers, rental companies and public accommodations to have all cribs in their facility meet stricter federal safety standards that were enacted last year.
Child care facilities including day care centers, family child care homes, infant Head Start centers, church-owned or operated fee-based day care centers, as well as places of public accommodation, such as hotels and motels, and rental companies, have until Dec. 28 to eliminate any non-compliant cribs, and replace them with cribs that comply with the tougher crib standards.
In June 2011, tough new crib safety standards were implemented nationwide, calling for improved mattress supports, crib slats, hardware quality and product testing, and implementing a total ban on drop-side cribs. Cribs manufactured after June 2011 must include the safer components and undergo more rigorous testing.
The Department of Consumer Protection is the state agency responsible for enforcing the Connecticut Child Protection Act along with numerous federal child safety laws.
Since 2007, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled more than 11 million dangerous cribs. Drop-side cribs with detaching side rails were involved in at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000. More deaths occurred due to faulty or defective crib hardware. The latest standards aim to prevent these tragedies and keep children safer in their cribs.
For optimal crib safety at home, owners should:
- Check CPSC’s crib recall list to make sure that your crib has not been recalled.
- Check your crib frequently to make sure all of the hardware is secured tightly and that there are no loose, missing, or broken parts.
- If your crib has a drop-side rail, stop using that drop-side function. If the crib has been recalled, request a free immobilizer from the manufacturer or retailer (the particular immobilizer you need will vary depending on the crib).
- Once your child grows out of the crib to a bed, dissemble and discard the crib.
More detailed information about the new standards and crib safety can be found online at:
- http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5023.pdf (Child Care Provider guidance)
- http://www.cpsc.gov/info/cribs/cribenforce.html (Enforcement guidance for Child Care Providers)
- http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/hotelcrib.pdf (Hotel/Motel guidance)