Congress Looking to Ban Drop-Side Cribs

drop-side 32 infants and toddlers have suffocated or been strangled in their drop-side crib since 2000. Drop-sides, around for decades and probably slept in by many of today’s parents, are suspected in an additional 14 infant fatalities during that time.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates cribs, has warned about the problem. Its chairman, Inez Tenenbaum, has pledged to ban the manufacture and sale of cribs by the end of the year with a new performance standard that would make fixed-side cribs mandatory. It could be several months into 2011 before becoming effective.

The industry has already started phasing out drop-sides and big retailers such as Babies R Us and Wal-Mart have taken them off sale floors. Yet there are still plenty for sale on the Internet, and that’s part of the reason Congress is getting involved.

“There’s a great urgency here. We have to make sure that no parent is unaware that drop-side cribs could kill their children,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., said in an Associated Press interview.

She plans to introduce legislation this week to outlaw the manufacture, sale and resale of all drop-side cribs and ban them from day-care centers and hotels. Gillibrand wants to accelerate efforts for a ban, from Congress or the CPSC, and highlight concerns about the cribs to parents who are using them.

“There still are thousands and thousands of children who are sleeping every night in drop-side cribs and we need to protect them,” said Gillibrand.

She outlined her bill at a news conference in New York on Sunday, accompanied by parents of victims.

More than 7 million of these cribs have been recalled in the past five years, often because screws, safety pegs or plastic tracking for the rail can come loose or break. The industry insists that babies are safe in drop-sides that haven’t been recalled.

“We believe firmly that when these products are assembled and used properly, they are the safest place to put your child,” said Mike Dwyer, executive director of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, which represents over 90 percent of the crib industry.

But when the hardware malfunctions, the drop-side rail can detach partially from the crib. That creates a dangerous “V”-like gap between the mattress and side rail where a baby can get caught and suffocate or strangle.

Dwyer says manufacturers have seen cases where parents installed the drop-side improperly, sometimes upside down, or they have reassembled a crib for a second or third child with some of the screws or other hardware missing.

In addition to the CPSC’s pledge to vote on a ban by year’s end, two New York counties — Nassau and Suffolk, on Long Island — have banned the sale of drop-sides.

Late last year, crib manufacturers were already moving in that direction when they voted to eliminate the drop-side design and instead opt for four fixed sides, but the standard is a voluntary one.

Despite the industry’s move to end production, there are plenty of new and used drop-side cribs for sale online. The Associated Press found drop-sides for purchase on websites for Sears, Kmart and Amazon.com. Craigslist also had scores of used drop-side cribs for sale.

The industry doesn’t have figures on how many drop-sides might still be on the market, but Dwyer says it’s a small percentage.

The Coolest Baby Product of 2010…The mamaRoo!!!

IMG_0682I just received our mamaRoo, made by 4moms. I have been anxiously awaiting it’s arrival for weeks, and it was worth it. Last night when my 3 week old was up from 4am to 6am, I kept thinking, when is my mamaRoo going to arrive. HOORAY!!IMG_0681

This is the COOLEST most AMAZING product I have ever seen for babies. It’s not a swing or a bouncer, it is a futuristic “baby spacecraft” that moves like mom. It has 5 unique motions: car ride, kangaroo, tree swing, rock-a bye, and ocean wave. Our daughter loves the car ride, and I love not actually having to be out in the middle of the night driving around a colicky baby. Each motion can be adjusted to the right speed for your baby. The mamaRoo also comes with 5 sounds of nature, but what I love most is that you can connect your MP3 player to it .

If exposing baby to wonderful music isn’t enough, the mamaRoo also comes with Plush toy balls decorated in the style of Van Gogh, Monet, and Seurat. Black and white on one side for infants. Color on the other side for older babies. They easily pop in and out of the mobile so babies can chew and or study them.

This is a must have for every new parent. It’s worth the splurge at $200. It is a reasonable price considering you can take that swing and bouncer off your registry.

Great Breastfeeding Resource

breastfeedingIt’s amazing how every baby is so.. different. My first baby wanted to nurse all the time. A lactation consultant described him as a “Barracuda Nurser”. It was awful! My nipples were cracked and bleeding. I had to take tylenol before latching him on because the pain was so bad. I had to deal with thrush, plugged ducts and yucky mastitis. I would have definitely given up on nursing, if I hadn’t discovered Kellymom.com. A friend told me about the site when my son was 2 weeks old, and I called her hysterical at 1am because I just didn’t  know what to do anymore, and it gave me the answers to all my questions. Luckily, our new baby girl, is a snacker with a great latch. She like to nurse for 5 minutes at a time and so far so good.

A lot of my friends find themselves in the same boat as me. In the 1970’s and 80’s most moms in America didn’t breastfeed. When I had my son and was sitting in the hospital bed looking to my mother for advice, she had none to give me, and to make matters worse, with the recession, a lot of hospitals have cut their lactation support, leaving new moms who want to give their baby the very best, clueless as to what to do and expect.

Breastfeeding.com has a great directory of lactation consultants in the NYC area.

Recall On Infant/Children's Tylenol, Motrin, Benadryl, etc

Mcneil Consumer Healthcare is voluntarily  recalling the below listed medicines because some of them may not meet the required quality standards. Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles. While the potential for serious medical events is remote, the company advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use.

recalled meds