As of the middle of 2011, the manufacture of drop-side cribs has been prohibited in the US, as well as the sale, resale and distribution of these items. This was a decision made after a long series of infant and toddler deaths caused by this model of crib, which proved to maintain a deadly risk in spite of standard safety tests.
To understand how these tragedies occurred and why, instead of just toughening the standards, the government decided an absolute ban, let us understand what a drop-side crib is and how it was managed.
This infamous type of crib is different on only one aspect from a common crib: it has a side that is placed on two rails that make it come down and back up in order to give the parent more freedom of movement. The whole problem that got these cribs prohibited and recalled by the millions lies with this mobile side. The main argument that the government gave was that because of certain manufacture and usage practices, the cribs can for a gap between the mattress and the mobile part, where an infant can be trapped and suffocated.
So what are these practices that can lead to such terrible consequences? Just as in car seat related-accidents, some of the times it is about assembling the crib in a faulty way. As the mobile parts are placed upside-down, they create more wear than the crib is capable to handle and the rails turn loose with times. Other problems are related to the materials used in the construction of the cribs. Plastic and soft wood wear off and break easily and this leads to the same deadly gap, or to a partial disassembly of the crib, which opens the way to head and limbs injuries and so on.
Many people raised their voices in defending the concept, saying that banning is less effective than improving the invention, and that some thought should be given to simply resolving the issues, instead of causing such a heavy financial loss for so many businesses. However, the force of the new established safety standards has reached further than just this product, making manufacturers everywhere reconsider their product features and set the safety of children at the top of their priority list.