In an effort to make children safer while they sleep, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of new proposed mandatory standards for cribs.
The new rules, likely to go into effect next year after a final vote by the federal commission, would render many cribs in the country as not up to code, regardless of whether the crib style and model was ever considered unsafe, and essentially would ban the manufacture and sale of drop-side cribs.
In addition to eliminating drop-side cribs, the new rules will mandate better mattress support, sturdier hardware and better quality wood for crib construction.
"My biggest fear is that day-care centers, in particular, will be stuck with no other option but to place babies in play yards or on floor mats -- even temporarily -- since the purchase of so many new cribs will be quite expensive," said Commissioner Anne Northup in a statement.
Note that this commissioner's biggest fear is not more deaths and injuries, but she is more concerned about the financial impact of the long-overdue policy changes. There have been 36 reported infant deaths since 2007 because of defective cribs. But these deaths could have been prevented had the CPSC acted sooner. Defective cribs have been on the market for decades.
But it is the same old story when it comes to protecting consumers - money is more important than lives.