Each year, thousands of infants are injured as the result of defective cribs. The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that over 11 million play sets, bassinets, and cribs have been recalled since 2007.
What is a Product Recall?
A product recall happens when the federal government publicly announces that a product is harmful. In most recalls, the product is to be returned to the manufacturer either for repair, replacement, or a refund. While some recalls are initiated by the government, others are voluntarily done by the manufacturer a safety issue or design flaw is discovered.
Lawsuits for Defective Cribs
Whenever a child is injured because of a defective crib, families can sue the manufacturer or distributor of the crib. In order for defective crib lawsuit to be successful, the family must be able to prove that the crib was defective and that the child’s injury was caused directly by the defect. Not only that, but the family must also prove that the crib was being used properly and as intended by the manufacturer. In most cases, the manufacturer will argue that the child was left unattended or that the crib was being misused, making the family’s case more difficult to win in court.
Updated Federal Safety Standards for Cribs
In 2011, a new list of safety guidelines went into effect for cribs. Below is a list of the new standards:
- Drop-side cribs are now banned from production and sale;
- More durable mattress supports must be used;
- Sturdier wooden slats and hardware; and,
- More rigorous safety testing procedures.
Suggested Safety Guidelines
In order to help prevent crib-related injuries and deaths, it is essential for parents to be aware of the hazards. The CPSC also recommends that parents regularly check the crib recall list on their website to be sure that their child’s crib is safe to use. Below are some tips to help keep infants safe in their cribs:
- Never use thick blankets or pillows in a crib or in any other baby sleeping area – these items could suffocate the baby
- A crib mattress should be firm and the sheet should be tightly fitted. The gaps between the mattress and the side of the crib should be no more than two fingers.
- Infants should always be on their back for sleeping.
- Cribs should never be placed near window blinds or curtain cords, as infants can be strangled in the cords.
- Never add extra padding to cribs or play sets. Only use the mattress provided by the manufacturer.
- Loose or missing slats should be fixed.
- Securely fasten all hardware. Do not neglect to use any of the fittings.
- Broken or modified cribs should not be used. Used cribs should also not be used, as they cause a large number of infant injuries and deaths.
- Call the manufacturer if you have any questions regarding the set-up of a crib or play set.
Take Legal Action if Necessary
If your child becomes injured while using a defective crib, call an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your claim. The rules involving defective product liability can be confusing, so it is best to consult a lawyer who is knowledgeable in this area.