Delta recalls 1.6 million cribs after deaths of two infants

Consumer Reports News: October 21, 2008 06:11 PM

After the death of two 8-month-old babies in separate incidents, Delta is recalling almost 1.6 million cribs with drop sides because of two different defects that can cause a baby to become entrapped between the mattress and the drop side. The cribs were sold from 1995 to 2007. The two recalls do not involve Delta cribs made this year but the Consumer Product Safety Commission cautions that the cribs may be on the secondhand market.

The larger of the recalls, including 985,000 cribs, involves missing safety pegs that allow the crib locks to disengage when the drop side is lowered below the peg hole. According to the CPSC, in May 2007 an 8-month-old girl from Bryan, Texas, died because the safety pegs on her crib were missing. The crib’s side detached, leaving a gap in which she got trapped and suffocated. The CPSC has also gotten reports of two entrapments and nine disengagements in cribs with missing safety pegs.

A second death prompted the recall of 600,000 cribs. In that incident, in July 2008, an 8-month-old boy in Tallahassee, Fla., suffocated after a spring-loaded safety peg failed allowing the side of his crib to detach. The CPSC has gotten reports of another entrapment as well as one incident in which the drop side detached. The hazard with these cribs is that the spring pegs in the base of each leg of the crib can be pushed back into the lower track, becoming nonfunctional. This can cause the drop side to detach from the crib and create a gap that can entrap an infant or toddler.

Taken together, this is the largest crib recall in history supplanting the massive Simplicity crib recall of one million units in September 2007 for similar failures of drop side hardware.

On the Today show this morning, CPSC spokeswoman Julie Vallese demonstrated the hazards the cribs pose. Here are the details of each recall:

Missing safety pegs
This recall involves all Delta cribs manufactured in Taiwan or Indonesia, with the "Crib Trigger Lock with Safety Peg" drop side hardware design. The model numbers and country of origin can be located on the mattress support board label: 4320, 4340, 4500, 4520, 4530, 4532, 4540, 4542, 4550, 4551, 4580, 4600, 4620, 4624 (production dates 01/06 through 11/07), 4640, 4660, 4720, 4735, 4742, 4750 (production dates 01/95 through 12/00), 4760, 4770, 4780, 4790, 4820, 4840, 4850, 4860, 4880, 4890, 4892, 4900, 4910, 4920, 4925-2, 4925-6, 4930, 4940, 4943, 4944, 4947, 4948, 4949, 4950, 4958, 4963, 4968, 4969, 4980.

The recalled cribs have date codes ranging from 1995 though December 2005 and one model (4624) was made in 2007. The model numbers are located on the top of the mattress support board. The cribs were sold at major retailers including Wal-mart, Kmart and from January 1995 through September 2007 for about $100.

Spring peg failures
This recall involves all Delta drop side cribs manufactured prior to 2006 that use "Crib Trigger Lock with Spring Peg" drop side hardware design. The recalled model numbers include: 4340, 4343, 4520, 4600, 4620, 4624, 4625, 4629, 4660, 4665, 4720, 4750, 4751, 4850, 4855, 4857, 4880, 4920, 4925-2, 4925-2B, 4925-6, 4980, and 8605. The model number, country of origin and manufacture dates are located on top of the mattress support board. The recalled cribs have Delta’s name and address on the mattress support boards and Delta’s logo on the teether rail.

The cribs, which were made in China, were sold at major retailers nationwide from January 2000 through January 2007 for between $33 and $200.

What to do if you own a recalled crib
The CPSC and Delta urge parents and caregivers to immediately stop using the affected cribs and to contact Delta to receive a free repair kit. Call Delta toll-free at (1-800-816-5304) anytime after 5 p.m. today or visit the company's Web site to order the free replacement kit. Delta also has photos on its Web site that show each defect in detail.

Advice for crib buyers
If you are in the market for a new or used crib, take heed.  We think it's safest to choose a crib with stationary sides.  If you already own a crib with a drop side, be extra vigilant in ensuring that the hardware is tight and intact. If the hardware is missing or broken do not use the crib or try to fix it yourself.  Contact the manufacturer for replacement parts.   

What the CPSC should do
Given today's announcement, we sincerely hope the CPSC will use this opportunity to promulgate the strongest possible crib durability standards. It was announced today that the CPSC staff is recommending adoption of a tougher standard that will address issues with hardware, wood quality, assembly and instruction problems. The agency should follow the lead of Canada and the European Union, which already have stronger durability standards, as well as Underwriters Laboratory (UL), which currently publishes a voluntary standard on crib durability. 

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