U.S. News

Pottery Barn recalls drop-side cribs, U.S. plans ban

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pottery Barn Kids voluntarily recalled 82,000 drop-side cribs on Wednesday, as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission proposed a ban on such products that it said had suffocated or strangled 32 babies or toddlers in the last decade.

The recall by the Williams-Sonoma Inc unit affects cribs sold from January 1999 through March 2010, priced at $300 to $600.

The cribs' drop-sides can detach when hardware breaks, creating a space into which a child can become entrapped, which can lead to suffocation, the CPSC said in a statement on its website (here).

The CPSC said in the statement that it and Pottery Barn Kids have received 36 reports of drop sides malfunctioning or detaching, resulting in seven minor injuries in children.

This is the 12th U.S. recall of drop-side cribs in the past five years, involving more than 7 million units, the CPSC said.

The CPSC’s proposal would ban the sale of all drop-side cribs from the United States, and require their removal from hotels, motels and day care centers. The ban would also require stronger mattress supports in cribs.

From January 2000 through May 2010, the CPSC had received reports of 32 infant and toddler suffocation and strangulation deaths and hundreds of incidents caused by or related to drop-side detachments in cribs by various manufacturers, it said in a May statement on its website (here).

The CPSC received an additional 14 reports of infant fatalities due to entrapment in cribs that could be related to a drop side, it said in the May statement.

“Chairman Inez Tenenbaum has made a promise to consumers that we will have the new rules approved by the end of the year,” subject to a 75-day public comment period, said Scott Wolfson, the CPSC’s director of public affairs.

“The industry is already moving away from the manufacturing (of drop-side cribs),” said Wolfson. “Our rules would have an impact on the retail side.”

Other bans by the CPSC include barring the sale of lawn darts and banning lead in candle wicks.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Richard Chang