According to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission release from February 3, “‘SafetyCraft’ brand full-size and portable drop-side cribs manufactured or distributed by Generation 2 Worldwide of Dothan, Alabama, contain drop-side hardware that appears to be identical to Generation 2 Worldwide ChildESIGNS brand drop-side cribs recalled in February 2010.” The CPSC explains that this defective hardware “can fail and place infants and toddlers at risk of strangulation and suffocation.”

The CPSC release advises owners to not attempt fixing these cribs, instead suggesting parents find a safe alternative sleeping location for their children. According to the release, three deaths from infant suffocation and 20 other incidents related to the use of the previously recalled model of crib occurred. The release explains “These cribs are in use in child care facilities as well as homes.”

A specific defect in the hardware of the crib is to blame for these infant deaths. “The crib's plastic drop-side hardware can break,” the release explains, “which can cause the drop side of the crib to detach from a corner of the crib.” According to the report, after the drop side releases, children can become trapped in the open space created by this separation, leading to “a risk of suffocation or strangulation.” Furthermore, “the crib's mattress support can detach from the crib frame, creating a hazardous space in which an infant or toddler can become entrapped and suffocate or strangle,” the release warns.

Unfortunately, the manufacturer of these cribs, Generation 2 Worldwide, no longer operates, leaving the CPSC with “limited information about these cribs and where they were sold,” the release explains. The CPSC explains that they have even “been unable to identify major retailers that sold these cribs.”

The release goes on to explain that consumers can identify these faulty cribs by carefully examining the labeling. According to the CPSC, “‘SafetyCraft’ appears on a label affixed to the crib's headboard or footboard,” while Indonesia or Dothan, Alabama may be listed as where the product was manufactured. Furthermore, the CPSC explains that some varieties of the cribs “have a clear plastic headboard and footboard.”

Although these types of cribs have become popular in recent years because they allow easy access to children through their lowering sides, design defects have led to the recall of millions recently. Several lawsuits resulting from these defective cribs have been filed recently, targeting both retailers and the manufacturers themselves. Although many retailers have agreed to cease selling this style of crib, parents should still use caution to ensure they avoid purchasing this dangerous product.

The CPSC reminds parents “not to use any crib with missing, broken, or loose parts.” Furthermore, the release advises parents “to tighten hardware from time to time to keep the crib sturdy,” check to make sure all moving parts operate smoothly and “check all sides and corners of the crib for disengagement.”

References:

Office of Information and Public Affairs. (February 3, 2011) “WARNING: Generation 2 Worldwide "SafetyCraft" Brand Drop-Side Cribs Pose Risks of Strangulation, Suffocation.” Retrieved on February 7, 2011 from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.