The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns of a strangulation hazard that may exist with some cribs that have projections on the cornerposts. Decorative knobs or cornerposts which extend above the crib end or side have caught clothing, necklaces and pacifier cords as the child moves about in the corner areas of the crib. These knobs or posts have been implicated in two cases of brain damage and 48 deaths due to strangulation. The CPSC urges that parents or caregivers never tie pacifiers around a child's neck.
The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), after being alerted to this hazard by the CPSC, developed a voluntary standard that restricts the height of crib cornerpost extensions to 1/16 inch unless the posts are high and the tops are out of reach of a child, such as where the posts are supports for a canopy. Most crib manufacturers have already ceased to produce cribs with post extensions. However, there may be thousands of such cribs still in consumers' homes, childcare settings, at garage sales, or in second-hand furniture stores.
If you already own a crib with cornerpost extensions more than 1/16 inch in height, the CPSC urges that you remove the extensions and discard them. Some may be removed merely by unscrewing, while others may have to be sawed off and sanded smooth. If you are purchasing a new or used crib, look for one that has cornerpost extensions less than 1/16 inch above the top edge of the end or side.
After removing extensions, be sure areas are sanded smooth with no sharp edges or corners, and fill in any wood holes with non-toxic wood putty.
For more information on crib safety, consumers may send a stamped self-addressed envelope to the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, Two Greentree Center, Suite 225, Box 955, Marlton, NJ 08053. To report an unsafe consumer product or a product-related injury, consumers may call the Consumer Product Safety Commission's toll-free hotline at 800-638-2772. A teletypewriter number for the hearing impaired is available at 800-638-8270.
The CPSC has available a variety of publications for consumers in both English and Spanish and many are accessible on the CPSC web site, www.cpsc.gov.