A tipster phoned this in yesterday, and I when I went to look up the Consumers' Union expert's phone number to get confirmation--hello!--it was already on their safety blog.
The Baby Industrial Complex panel that works with the CPSC to set crib safety standards just voted to develop a new standard that outlaws conventional dropside cribs, and that requires new static load tests for crib slats.
The standards will take a while--many months to agree on, a couple of years, at least--to be pinned down, approved, and propagated, but the likely impacts include:
- A dramatic decrease in crib recalls, since the standard directly addresses the reasons behind the vast majority of the 4.3 million cribs recalled since 2007: deadly gaps created by broke-ass dropside hardware and spindles made from shitty, flimsy wood. I'm sure there are more scientific terms, but you get the point.
- My tipster said it best: "This is (finally) the end of the $119 cheap ass crib."
- Between the dropside and the spindle requirements, the new standard will effectively obsolete almost all the cribs in the market today, suffocating the used crib market in its sleep, so to speak.
- On the bright side, guest rooms across the country will gain lovely convertible daybeds.
I know what you're thinking--and yes, I'm talking to the Ikea nerds right now: "What about Ikea cribs? They're cheap, and not dropside. Won't they survive?" The answer is, I have no idea. If Ikea's US market cribs are identical to the rest of the world's, then they already meet the EU standard for crib slat load testing, which is 60 lbs. But the CPSC wants to the new standard to not only meet but exceed that. Which blows my cynical little mind. I guess only time will tell.
New crib standard may yield safer designs [consumerreports.org via dt reader anon]