Questions, concerns follow record crib recall
Last Updated: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 | 4:27 PM ET
With Tuesday's recall of 2.1 million Stork Craft cribs, parents, daycare workers and store owners are all questioning where babies can sleep safely and whether any drop-side cribs should be used or sold.
Nicki Doria owns the Toronto children's consignment store Ages and Stages and is now considering refusing all drop-side cribs, regardless of brand.
"I wouldn't take a drop-side crib now. Right now I'm debating whether I should take apart the drop-side crib I have [displayed] now, even though Health Canada says I can sell it," said Doria.
Her concerns follow news that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering an outright ban on all drop-side cribs. In the past two years, five million such cribs have been recalled following the deaths of at least 12 infants.
And the confusion only mounted after the head of the CPSC told NBC on Tuesday that people should buy a new crib rather than attempt to fix their problem with Stork Craft's repair kit because the kit parts were only made of plastic.
Doria said she's had parents asking her where their baby should sleep now that the cribs have been condemned. She told one dad the best place for the baby was a playpen.
New cribs too pricey for many parents
She also wondered about the wisdom of a directive by government officials not to buy second-hand cribs, saying it was unrealistic and out-of-step with the times.
"There are always going to be people who don't have the money to buy a new crib," said Doria.
Kornelia Scheffler, co-owner of the Toronto drop-in centre, Kornelia's Korner, said several of her parents have no choice but to buy used.
"I think cribs are very expensive to start with and that's why people buy them used," said Scheffler. "You hope when you buy a second-hand crib that it's safe."
Lynn Belanger, supervisor of the North Yonge Infant Nursery and Preschool, disagreed with calls for outright bans on drop-side cribs, saying the problem would persist in the form of second-hand cribs circulating. Instead, she thought there should be stricter controls on their design and manufacture, including the elimination of plastic parts that fatigue over time.
"I feel sorry for people who can't afford to scrap their crib. It tends to be the more expensive cribs that are more solid," said Belanger.
Belanger said she never fully trusted drop-side cribs and always worried a baby could somehow wrangle them loose. Six years ago she used screws to permanently fasten the drop-sides of cribs at her daycare.
She admitted that with the drop side locked in place, it's much more difficult taking infants in and out of the crib.
"It's a pain in the neck, but it beats the alternative," said Belanger.
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