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Infant Entrapment and Suffocation Prompts Stork Craft to Recall More Than 2.1 Million Drop-Side Cribs

In case you didn’t hear about it on Monday, November 23rd, numerous local and national media outlets announced a pending crib recall in the coming days that was going to be very large. There were no specifics on who and how many, but it did involve an entrapment issue. Speculation was rampant and, like the kids game of telephone, estimates went from 500,000 to 5 million to all drop side cribs ever made. For this reason Goore’s waited to hear what company, or companies, are affected by the recall, how many cribs are involved and what the course of action was to fix them. Goore’s went ahead and pulled all drop side cribs from our floor and from our outlet as a precautionary measure pending the official release or concrete information to work from.

It turns out that it is only one company, Stork Craft Manufacturing and it was not 5 million cribs. This does not in any way discount the importance and magnitude of this recall. As a side note, Goore’s has never sold Stork Craft cribs but is deeply concerned about this issue.

First and foremost, parents should always follow instructions when assembling or reassembling a crib. Cribs should always be used properly in order to provide the safest sleeping environment for your child. “The safest place for a child is in a fully functional, properly assembled crib. Parents are urged to closely inspect the hardware and stability of their cribs to ensure all parts are in place and secure when assembling and re-assembling cribs.” according to Mike Dwyer, JPMA Executive Director. More on JPMA’s response to safety concerns below.

This recall involves Stork Craft drop-side cribs and Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo. This recall does not involve any cribs that do not have a drop-side or any cribs with metal rod drop-side hardware. It involves only those cribs with plastic trigger and one-hand-system drop-side hardware.

stork-craft-entrapmentThe issues are partially due to faulty manufacturing most likely driven by the mass merchant’s downward pressure on manufacturers to produce products cheaper. The manufacturers most likely are not cheapening their products at the expense of safety but the pressure is there. If vendors are not vigilant in their oversight of their factories, the factories themselves may be to blame. As a consumer and even us as a retailer, we will never know the real answer.

The cribs plastic hardware can break deform or simply be missing. In addition, the drop side can be installed upside down which can result in broken parts or parts that have become disengaged from the crib. All of these can cause the drop side to come detached on one or more of the corners. When a drop side detaches it creates a space between the drop side and the mattress which can be large enough for an infant to get trapped (see photo). Entrapment can lead to suffocation. Complete detachment can lead to the infant falling from the crib.

From the official CPSC Release:

This recall involves Stork Craft drop-side cribs and Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo. This recall does not involve any cribs that do not have a drop-side. This recall does not involve any cribs with metal rod drop-side hardware. It involves only those cribs with plastic trigger and one-hand-system drop-side hardware.

This recall includes Stork Craft cribs with manufacturing and distribution dates between January 1993 and October 2009. This recall also includes Stork Craft cribs with the Fisher-Price logo that have manufacturing dates between October 1997 and December 2004. The Stork Craft cribs with the Fisher-Price logo were first sold in the U.S. in July 1998 and in Canada in September 1998. The cribs were sold in various styles and finishes. The manufacture date, model number, crib name, country of origin, and the firm’s name, address, and contact information are located on the assembly instruction sheet attached to the mattress support board. The firm’s insignia “storkcraft baby” or “storkling” is inscribed on the drop-side teething rail of some cribs. In Stork Craft cribs that contain the “Fisher-Price” logo, this logo can be found on the crib’s teething rail, in the manufacturer’s instructions, on the assembly instruction sheet attached to the mattress support board, and on the end panels of the Twinkle-Twinkle and Crystal crib models.

Click Here to view the full release on the CPSC website

The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) issued a response to the recent safety concerns of drop side cribs on Monday. Click Here to read the full release. In the release they stress the importance of parents making sure they are properly following instructions and using cribs properly. I agree with them in that we should always stress this important factor but maybe more needs to be done.

In their response they talk about all cribs meeting a minimum standard. This minimum standard has been evolving for years but with almost 5 million cribs recalled in the past few years maybe this minimum is not high enough. The purpose of a standard is to improve the product not simply set a minimum benchmark. This year for example there are 2 provisions to the standard which are huge leaps forward – drop side cribs are banned from future production and a provision for increased slat strength in cribs.

As an organization representing our industry I feel they should be concerned about the validity of their certification process in light of this and other recalls. Their response appeared to be a cover your _ _ _ response instead of we need to do more and here is what should be done.

Drop side cribs have been disappearing from our floor for years. Many of the leading manufacturers had completely moved away from drop side cribs prior to this years ban on future drop side crib production. The drop side cribs have all been at the lower price points in the past couple years. You will always find cheap options of any product but when something as important as your baby’s safety is of concern make sure you spend the money to get the quality they deserve.

Richard Goore
Goore’s for Babies to Teens

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