- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission on Tuesday promised swift action to get dangerous products off the market, acknowledging that the agency didn’t move quickly enough on a record recall of more than 2 million cribs linked to four deaths.

“We were not advancing this case as quickly as possible,” Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in an interview with the Associated Press. “So, I put all of the resources for the agency on this project so that they could accomplish this goal of recalling the crib.”

At issue are some 2.1 million drop-side cribs made by Stork Craft Manufacturing of Canada. Four infants suffocated in the cribs.

CPSC said the recall involves 1.2 million cribs in the United States and almost 1 million in Canada. Sales of the cribs being recalled date to 1993, and nearly 150,000 of the cribs carry the Fisher-Price logo.

Stork Craft insisted Tuesday that its cribs meet all U.S. and Canadian safety standards.

“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,” Jim Moore, president and chief executive officer of Stork Craft, said in a video news release shown on the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

In the case of Stork Craft and other drop-side cribs, the hardware used to put the crib together can break, deform or become missing after years. There also can be problems with assembly mistakes.

The hardware and misassembly problems can cause the drop-side to detach, creating a dangerous V-like space between the drop-side and the crib mattress, where a child can become trapped and suffocate.

More than 5 million drop-side cribs have been recalled in the past two years - recalls associated with the deaths of a dozen children.

CPSC is considering mandatory standards for crib design.

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