The Dangers of Drop-Side Cribs

The danger from drop-side cribs comes from gaps that can form between the mattress and the drop-side. Another hazard occurs when the drop-side detaches from the upper corner creating a “V” where the child’s head or neck can get caught. Children can get stuck in these gaps in a variety of positions and can become seriously injured or suffocate and die.

These deadly gaps can form for various reasons, including:

  • Screws, tracking, pegs, and bolts, on the drop-side (especially plastic) can warp or break.
  • Certain types of wood can cause hardware to become loose.
  • Drop-side can be installed improperly causing increased ware and improper function.
  • Cribs are often assembled, disassembled, and reassembled multiple times throughout the life of the crib causing to pieces and instructions to get lost or damaged resulting in incorrect use.
  • The drop-side track becomes worn due to use and can easily be pushed off track.

Safety Recommendations
The childcare safety professionals at West Bend and the  Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommend drop-side crib owners to immediately identify the make and model of the crib and check to see if it is already on existing recall lists.

  • Dangers increase greatly when cribs are altered. NEVER modify or repair broken cribs
  • It is recommended that the use of any cribs with loose, absent, damaged, or broken parts be discontinued.
  • Routinely check all crib hardware to make sure they are adequately tightened and that the crib is sturdy.
  • Inspect all corners and connection points to make sure there is no disengagement or weakening of connections.
  • There should not be more than a one- or two-finger width space between the mattress and the side of the crib.
  • New cribs are added to the recall list frequently. Continually check our childcare products recall feed for an updated list of all cribs affected as well as other important recalls.
  • If your crib is on the recall list discontinue use immediately and contact the crib manufacturer as you may be entitled to either a refund or a retrofit kit. Retrofit kits are designed to immobilize the drop-side of the crib and eliminate the hazards. Make sure to only use manufacturer direct retrofit kits and to follow installation direction exactly.