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Record Crib Recall Revives Consumer Safety Concerns

Over 2 million Stork Craft baby cribs have been voluntarily recalled due to safety concerns such as potential suffocation. Ray Suarez has more.

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    It's being called the largest crib recall in U.S. history, involving more than two million drop-side cribs from Stork Craft Manufacturing of Canada. The sides are designed to be lowered, offering easier access to the baby. But there have been 110 reported incidents of those adjustable sides coming loose, creating a potentially deadly gap.

    ANN BROWN, former chairman, Consumer Product Safety Commission: The hardware can crack. A depression is made in the bed. The baby's head gets caught in that depression, and the baby can strangle and die.


    In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission says at least four infants have gotten caught and been suffocated in the cribs. In North Bellmore, New York, Susan and Robert Cirigliano now keep their 2-year-old daughter in a fixed rail crib. Their other child, a boy, died at six months, when the rail in his drop-side crib collapsed.


    He was stuck between the mattress and the side rail with his face pressed up against the mattress.


    The thing was, there was never any warnings about these cribs. And — and, after research, we found that a lot of these cribs had caused injuries and deaths.


    All told, more than five million cribs with drop sides have been recalled in the past two years. And, last January, Stork Craft recalled 500,000 cribs because of problems with metal brackets that support the mattress.

    Today, Inez Tenenbaum, the chair of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, acknowledged problems in oversight. She said, "We have just not been acting as quickly as we should have."

    And there have been other problems with baby gear. Earlier this month, Maclaren recalled one million strollers, after 12 children had fingertips cut off by hinges. For now, parents with the recalled cribs are being told not to use them until they receive a free repair kit from the company. It's designed to immobilize the drop side.

    This afternoon, the crib's manufacturer, Stork Craft, said, if the crib is assembled correctly, maintained correctly, and the safety warnings are adhered to, the cribs are safe and they will not be a problem.

    For more about the questions raised by this recall, we speak with two people who have been following it. Nancy Cowles is the executive director of the not-for-profit group Kids in Danger. And Don Mays is the senior director of product safety at Consumers Union.

    And, Don Mays, let's get this straight from the beginning. Are we talking about this one manufacturer and this one model crib? Or are we now saying that any drop-side crib of any year from any manufacturer should now be considered risky?