Suffocation - Consumer Justice Foundation


Written by Faith Anderson on March 23, 2011
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Over the past five years, millions of drop-side cribs have been recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission due to the potential for these products to cause significant, potentially fatal injury to a small child. Finally, in 2010, a unanimous vote by the U.S. CPSC banned the manufacture and sale of new and used drop-side cribs. Even commercial facilities like day-care centers and hotels are prohibited from using these products, and have been given a year to replace all of the defective cribs in their facilities. According to the drop-side crib ban, which will take effect in June 2011, it will be against the law to sell a drop-side crib and, although it won’t be illegal to have a defective crib in the home, drop-side crib owners are encouraged to replace their current products with fixed-side cribs to prevent the risk of infant entrapment, strangulation and suffocation.


Infant deaths due to suffocation occur when the child is in a place or position where he or she is unable to breathe. When a child is trapped between the drop-side railing and the mattress of a defective crib, the flow of air into the mouth and nostrils is either partially or fully obstructed, preventing the child from inhaling the required amount of air. Suffocation resulting from unsafe sleeping environments, such as defective cribs, are the fourth leading type of accidental death for all children in the United States.

Drop-Side Crib Suffocation

The reason why drop-side cribs are considered to be so dangerous is because there is a significant risk of the drop-side rail of the crib becoming partially or fully detached. In some cases, detachment of the rail may expose a V-gap between the rail and headboard in which the child’s head or neck can become trapped, resulting in suffocation. In addition, if the rail becomes detached and the child moves or falls into the new spaced created by the detachment, he may become wedged between the mattress and the drop-side rail, which can result in suffocation. In the past five years alone, more than 10 million drop-side cribs have been recalled which, according to the U.S. CPSC, have been implicated in the death of at least thirty-two infants and suspected in fourteen additional deaths in the past ten years. Furthermore, there have been hundreds of incidents in recent years caused by or related to drop-side detachments in certain cribs.

The structural integrity of drop-side cribs have been reevaluated as a result of these reports, and experts have found many of the products to be unsafe. Even drop-side cribs which have not yet been recalled may pose a significant hazard to young children if the pieces become detached or sustain damage. Even if a child is not killed by a defective drop-side crib, he may sustain serious injuries from falling out of or becoming trapped in the crib, including bruises, broken bones and concussion.

A Drop-Side Crib Attorney Can Help

These defective drop-side cribs have the potential to cause life-threatening and even fatal injury to small children. If you are currently using a recalled drop-side crib, you should terminate use of the product immediately. If your child has suffered serious injury resulting from drop-side crib use, contact a drop-side crib attorney as soon as possible, as you may benefit from filing a drop-side crib lawsuit. The goal of drop-side crib lawsuits is to seek financial reimbursement for your child’s injuries, the medical expenses associated with injury treatment, and the pain and suffering incurred by you and your family. If your child was suffocated as a result of becoming entrapped by a drop-side crib, you are not at fault and you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the product’s manufacturing company. Drop-side crib attorneys are extremely experienced in defective product litigation and have the skill and knowledge necessary to help the families of drop-side crib victims collect the compensation they deserve.

Posted Under: Drop Side Crib Recall
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