Release date: May 1, 1975
Release number: 75-037

Release Details

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is seeking public comment on a proposal to establish minimum safety requirements for non-full size baby cribs.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is seeking public comment on a proposal to establish minimum safety requirements for non-full size baby cribs.

The regulations, which would cover slat width, crib size height, and mattress size for portable cribs and other non-full size cribs are similar to safety requirements that went into effect for full size baby cribs on February 1, 1974. The proposed effective date of the new regulations, which would be issued under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, is 120 days after a final order is promulgated.

The Commission estimates that 9,000 infants need hospital emergency room treatment each year for crib-related injuries. About 100 babies are seriously injured each year in accidents involving non-full size cribs. The new regulations would protect children against the major crib hazards of strangulation, suffocation and falls.

Proposed safety requirements include:

-A maximum of 2 3/8 inches between the slats or poles to keep children from slipping through feet first and being caught by the head.

-A minimum rail height of 22 inches from the top of the railing to the mattress support at its lowest level to help prevent children from falling out of the crib.

-A permanent warning label on the crib specifying the size of a snugly fitting mattress. This requirement would protect infants from wedging their faces between the side of the crib and a poorly fitting mattress and suffocating.

-Sturdy side latches to prevent the child from unlatching the sides of the crib.

-Wood surfaces that are free from splinters and cracks.

-No toeholds inside the crib that the child could use to climb out on.

-Unassembled cribs must be accompanied by clear instructions for safe assembly by unskilled persons. The instructions must include a cautionary statement that when the child reaches a height of 35 inches, he or she should be placed in a youth or regular bed.

Under the proposed regulation, manufacturers and importers would be required to keep sales and distribution records for a period of three years.

The proposed regulations also would require a conspicuous label on the crib and carton stating .that the crib complies with all applicable safety regulations. This label would be mandatory for a period of two years when it is anticipated current inventories of non-complying cribs would be depleted.

Written comments on the regulations should be submitted by July 8, 1975, to the Office of the Secretary, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, D.C. 20207.

For copies of the proposed regulations or safety tips on cribs and other nursery furniture, write to the Commission or call the toll-free hotline: 800/638-2772.

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