On the day before the government held a special meeting to toughen crib safety standards, Babies R Us announced it was dropping drop-side cribs, according to the Wall Street Journal.
"There are enough concerns raised about drop-side cribs that we're moving forward and we're going to phase them out," the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Jerry Storch said in an interview. While Mr. Storch said he doesn't necessarily believe newer drop-side cribs are dangerous, he's concerned about the amount of time consumers are keeping their cribs, especially in this economy. "It adds in an element of risk that we don't want to take, particularly over time," he said. "It seems that the strongest cribs are ones where the four sides attach to each other and have less complicated hardware."
Mr. Storch of Toys "R" Us said his company toughened its internal crib standards last fall to include added testing and other requirements that go beyond federal regulations and the ASTM's voluntary standards. Those changes will likely add about 5% to 15% to the cost of supplying a crib, he said.Only some of that will likely be passed on to consumers, Mr. Storch said. Among other things, the company began requiring that spindles be inserted into crib rails at a minimum depth of half an inch, and it required that wood such as aspen and mahogany be used instead of tropical hardwood that's cheaper but not necessarily as reliable. It also borrowed from tougher Canadian and British standards for cribs.