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In Canada on September 29, 2010 at 19:44

Health Canada begins consultations on banning drop-side cribs

September 29, 2010

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—Health Canada is launching a public consultation on the safety of drop-side cribs that could lead to a ban.

The ban would apply to the sale of drop-side cribs at traditional retailers, second-hand stores, flea markets and garage sales, as well as on web-based sites like eBay, Craigslist and Kijiji.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq is asking for feedback on proposed changes to the Cribs and Cradles Regulations of the Hazardous Products Act to ban traditional drop-side cribs, as well as other cribs with sides that aren’t rigidly attached to the crib ends.

The proposal calls for allowing the uppermost portion of the crib side to fold, pivot or move so that it’s easier to access a child in the crib.

Feedback is also being sought on changes to crib accessories like change tables.

For details, consumers can check the consultation document on Health Canada’s website, and submit comments by Dec. 15.

Health Canada says there have been about 90 reported drop-side crib incidents in Canada in the last 10 years and several models of drop-side cribs have been voluntarily recalled in the past few years.

The hardware on drop-side cribs can break or fail, allowing the drop-side to detach from the crib. This can create a gap between the drop-side and the crib mattress in which infants and toddlers can become wedged or trapped and possibly be strangled or suffocated.

As well, children can fall from the crib when the drop-side detaches or fails to latch and lock.

Health Canada suggests that parents and caregivers take the following steps to make sure their crib is safe:

•Consult the Consumer Product Recalls Database to verify if their model of crib has been recalled and, if so, what to do.

•Parents and caregivers should regularly check the safety of their baby’s crib.

•Cribs should not be used if any parts are loose or missing or if there are signs of damage.

•Cribs should not be used if they can’t be assembled properly as per the instructions.

•Only parts obtained from the original manufacturer must be used for repairs. Broken crib parts must not be repaired with tape, wire or rope.

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