WASHINGTON - At least 32 young children have strangled or suffocated in the past nine years due to defects and other problems of drop-side cribs, the government says in another warning about these types of cribs.
In the same time period, there were another 14 reported children's deaths in drop-side cribs, although safety officials have not conclusively determined if a drop-side problem caused these deaths, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Friday.
The agency also said there have been hundreds of incidents caused by or related to drop-side detachments in cribs made by various manufacturers. Drop-side cribs have one side that moves up and down to allow parents, especially shorter adults, to lift children from the cribs more easily.
The agency reiterated Friday that drop-side cribs tend to be less structurally sound than cribs with four fixed-sides. The side that moves up and down - the drop side - can break, deform or detach, creating a dangerous gap between the crib mattress and dropped side. In the past five years, the agency said it has announced 11 recalls involving more than 7 million drop-side cribs due to suffocation and strangulation hazards.
CPSC's warning comes a day after 170,000 drop-side cribs under the names C&T International, Sorelle and Golden Baby were recalled due to infant injuries. Last week, the agency announced a recall of thousands of Simplicity and Graco cribs.
Some of the 32 deaths occurred when the drop side detached without caregivers noticing. Others deaths happened when a consumer tried to repair a drop-side crib or a caregiver installed a crib's drop-side incorrectly due to confusing or incorrect directions.
For more information about product recalls, consumers can call 800-638-2772 or visit http://www.cpsc.gov.