Crib Safety Standards

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has approved new standards for cribs which have not been updated in almost 30 years. The main focus was aimed more towards traditional cribs with drop-side rails which have been associated with at least 32 infant suffocation and strangulation deaths since 2000 however a press release from the CPSC stated that “additional deaths have occurred due to faulty or defective hardware”. The goal of these new safety standards is to prevent additional deaths and to make cribs safer for infants and children to sleep in.

For manufacturers this means that as of June, 2011 all cribs made or sold in the U.S. must meet these new federal safety standards which bans the sale and manufacture of traditional drop-down cribs, requires that crib mattress supports and crib hardware be stronger and more durable and makes safety testing more rigorous. Childcare centers (CC) and family child care homes (FCC) will have until December, 2012 to get cribs which meet these new standards. Most cribs manufactured before June, 2011 do not meet these new standards it is not recommended that these be purchase or used which, even if they look safe, may not meet the new safety regulations and could have loose or missing hardware, creating gaps which could trap a child.

Make no mistake; this ban is not only against drop-side cribs but rather unsafe cribs in general. If you have a crib that was manufactured prior to June 2011, chances are, your crib won’t meet the new standards. You can check to see if your crib meets the new safety standards by finding your crib’s model and serial number then contacting the manufacturer and asking them if the crib meets the 16 CFR 1219 standards. If it meets the new requirements you will need a certificate of compliance from the manufacturer which you can keep in your records.

What do you do with a crib that does not meet the new crib standards? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that “A consumer should not resell, donate or give away a crib that does not meet the new crib standards, such as trying to resell the product through an online auction site or donating to a local thrift store” and recommends disassembling the crib before discarding it. It is also important to note that collapsible and portable cribs with mess sides (such as play yards and pack’n’plays) are not affected by the new crib standards.
More information about the new crib standards can be found here.

California Law Requiring Carbon Monoxide Devices

California Law Requiring Carbon Monoxide Devices
On May 7, 2010, Senate Bill 183 was enacted into law and is known as the Carbon Poisoning Prevention Act (ACT).  This act applies to existing housing.  The Act requires dwelling units to have installed a "carbon monoxide device" that is designed to detect carbon monoxide and produce a "distinct, audible, alarm", and requires the State Fire Marshal to certify and approve carbon monoxide devices and their Instructors.

The devices must be installed, consistent with new construction standards or according to the approved instructions, in all existing single-family dwelling units no later than July 1, 2011.  To assist licensees and providers with resource information on these requirements, we are providing you with a link to the website of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM).

You can purchase carbon monoxide detectors at almost any home improvement store for roughly $20-$60 but be wary of the smoke detector/carbon monoxide combination alarms.  Keep in mind that smoke detectors are installed on ceilings because smoke rises, carbon monoxide is heavier than smoke and will fall low to the ground therefore one of the functions of a smoke/carbon monoxide detector may be rendered useless.  Make sure to install your carbon monoxide detector low to the ground and in an area near to any gas appliances.