WASHINGTON - The government is outlawing drop-side cribs after the deaths of more than 30 infants and toddlers in the past decade.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has voted unanimously to ban the manufacture, sale and resale of the cribs, which have a side rail that moves up and down, allowing children to be lifted easily from the bed.
A fixture for infant care for decades, drop-side cribs have come under scrutiny in recent years because of malfunctioning hardware, sometimes cheaper plastics, or assembly problems that can lead to the drop-side rail partially detaching from the crib.
When that happens, it can create a dangerous "V"-like gap between the mattress and side rail where a baby can get caught and suffocate or strangle.
In the past year the federal product safety agency has recalled numerous brands and models because of the problem.