After learning of another death, CPSC and Delta today re-announced the 2008 recall of almost one million drop-side cribs. The design of the crib relies on little plastic pegs to keep the drop-side in place. When they inevitably fall out unnoticed, the drop side can separate from the crib, causing a gap where a baby can be entrapped. A seven-month-old Colorado Springs girl died in 2009 after becoming entrapped. At the time of the initial recall, CPSC was aware of 1 death, 2 entrapments and nine disengagements due to the design. Today's announcement doesn't list any additional disengagements, although doesn't say there weren't any -- too bad the database wasn't up and running!
These cribs were initially recalled because the tiny pegs come out of the crib leg, allowing the drop-side to push free and cause an entrapment hazard. It was recalled at the same time as another 600,000 Delta drop-side cribs using a different attachment mechanism that also fell out, causing entrapments and one death. Then last year, Delta recalled an additional 747,000 cribs whose drop-side mechanisms failed.
While CPSC has exerted strong leadership in pushing for a rigorous mandatory standard for cribs that will eliminate this dangerous design, they dropped on the ball on this re-release. Their main safety message delivered by Chairman Tenenbaum in the release? Be careful when you buy second-hand! Not that these products were unsafe from the day they were made and parents should avoid all drop-side cribs. Checking second hand products against the list of recalls and for safety goes without saying. But the reason to check is because these products are hazardous to begin with, not because they are second-hand.
So we'll say it -- Delta has recalled over 2.3 million drop-side cribs because the drop side hardware fails. Don't buy or use these cribs. It doesn't matter if you are the first or the tenth user -- they are unsafe. And while the recall announcement calls for Delta to send out more little plastic parts that they want you to check continuously to make sure they stay in -- don't. Just don't use these cribs-- they aren't safe.
UPDATE: A call to Delta confirms that there are no immobilizers available for this style drop-side crib. So we restate our warning -- do not use these cribs, with or without the new plastic 'safety' plugs!!