JPMA Responds to Recent Safety Concerns of “Drop Side” Cribs
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. November 23, 2009 – To alleviate confusion that is in the media regarding the recently announced recall of certain drop-side cribs, the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), the not for profit trade association that promotes infant safety and the development of recognized ASTM International product safety standards, reassures the public regarding the safety of properly used, drop side cribs.
All new cribs on the market today must meet minimum government requirements. In addition, there are consensus performance standards, which are established by ASTM with involvement of the government and recognized experts, to which JPMA certifies cribs and other durable infant products. JPMA also reminds parents and care givers, that when you assemble a crib to the manufacturer’s instructions and use it properly, a crib provides the safest sleeping environment for baby.
Recent media reports notwithstanding, cribs are intended to last for years (or multiple births) when properly cared for. Crib instructions which are attached to cribs include information on assembly, maintenance, cleaning, storage and use.
“JPMA believes that instead of alarming parents, we should work together to educate them about the importance of the proper use, assembly and reassembly of cribs and how to provide the safest sleep environment for a child,” said Mike Dwyer, JPMA Executive Director. “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.”
The Consumer Products Safety Committee has NEVER said that a properly assembled crib with fully functional hardware should not be used. Each year hundreds of deaths occur when children are placed in a sleep environment that is not specifically designed for children. Parents should continue using properly assembled cribs in good condition as it provides the safest sleep environment for children.
JPMA suggests the following safety tips to sustain the proper lifespan of your crib:
Parents should not use any crib with missing, broken or loose hardware parts. Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8 inches apart, and none should be loose or missing. Also NEVER use a crib with corner posts over 1/16 of an inch above the end panels (unless they’re over 16 inches high for a canopy).
NEVER place infants to sleep on pillows, sofa cushions, adult beds, waterbeds, beanbags, or any other surface not specifically designed for infant sleep. NEVER place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds, or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords.
When using a drop side crib parents and care givers should check to make sure the drop side or any other moving parts operate properly. Parents should be sure that hardware is installed properly. When assembling and disassembling drop side cribs, parents should always confirm that the parts are reassembled following the manufacturers guidelines as listed in the instructions.
Always check all sides and corners of the crib to assure proper assembly with no openings that may entrap a child. The crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width, one-inch, between the edge of the mattress and the crib side. Otherwise, the baby can get trapped between the mattress and the side of the crib.
Do not try to repair any side of the crib without manufacturer approved hardware.
Putting a broken side up against the wall does not solve the problem and can often make it worse.
JPMA is pleased to note that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recognizes the importance of urging parents and caregivers 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.
Recent recalls of juvenile products highlights the importance of proper assembly and use of cribs. Many older cribs do not meet all current safety standards. Even if you are on a tight budget, you should not purchase an old crib at a garage sale or accept a hand-me-down crib that may not meet current Federal and ASTM standards.
For additional tips on how to keep baby safe, including a list of JPMA Certified cribs, please visit www.jpma.org .
“We are all committed to making sure that baby’s sleep environment is as safe as possible,” said Amy Chezem, JPMA Communications Director and mother of two. “We have consistently promoted safe sleeping practices and the importance of ensuring proper assembly and use of products that have long provided the safest place to sleep for babies.”
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association is a national trade organization of more than 250 companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. JPMA exists to advance the interests, growth, and well-being of North American prenatal to preschool product manufacturers, importers, and distributors marketing under their own brands to consumers. It does so through advocacy, public relations, information sharing, product performance certification, and business development assistance conducted with appreciation for the needs of parents, children, and retailers.
Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA)
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Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
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