Congress mandate may send 100,000 cribs to the dump

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Opinion Zone,Grace Ferrell

A mandate passed by Congress in December will leave over 100,000 cribs destined for the dumps unless they are sold by June 28, according to a report from the Heritage Foundation.

Retailers were given 6 months to sell their current inventory of cribs affected by the safety mandate, but so far they can't sell them fast enough. All child-care facilities, family child-care homes and places of public accommodations, such as hotels and motels, are facing a deadline replace their cribs by December 28.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted June 17 to preserve the existing deadline of June 28 despite the high number of unsold cribs.

Commissioners Nancy Nord and Anne Northup voted in favor of extending the June 28 deadline while Commissioners Bob Adler, Thomas Moore and Inez Tenebaum voted to preserve the current deadline.

“Although some have argued that our treatment of childcare facilities, places of public accommodation, and now rental companies is inconsistent with the Commission’s decision to not allow retailers more time to sell noncompliant inventory, this argument ignores a clear distinction between these two groups that was key in my decision to allow these service providers an extended compliance date,” Tenebaum said in an issued statement

Those against of the June 28 deadline cite the impact the mandate will have on the industry.

"Never has there been a situation where manufacturers have to stop selling merchandise on June 28 and retailers have to stop selling inventory on June 28," said Rafael de Castro, executive director of National Independent Nursery Furniture Retailers’ Association. "You normally have a manufacturer phase and then a retail phase."

The mandate affects cribs with drop-side rails and a crib’s mattress support, slats, and hardware are now required under the mandate to be more durable.

According to an extensive list on the CSPC’s website regarding the new mandate, “there has not been a specific ‘recall’ of all drop-side cribs due to the new regulation.”

The stricter crib mandate follows CPSC reports that since 2000, 32 infants and toddlers have suffocated or been strangled in drop-rail crib incidents. 

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