Crib recall: 2.1 million deemed unsafe

Consumer safety officials say drop-side cribs made by Stork Craft can cause suffocation or other injuries.

By Aaron Smith and Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff writers

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The federal agency in charge of product safety announced the recall of 2.1 million cribs Monday, citing defective hardware that can cause toddlers and infants to suffocate.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said parents should immediately stop using Stork Craft drop-side cribs, which are made by Stork Craft Manufacturing Inc., of British Columbia, Canada.

About 1.2 million of the cribs have been distributed in the United States and 968,000 units distributed in Canada.

The recall includes about 147,000 Stork Craft drop-side cribs with the Fisher-Price logo, the CPSC said.

The cribs were sold at major retailers including Sears and Wal-Mart and online at Amazon.com and Target.com between January 1993 and October 2009.

The CPSC said the cribs' drop-side, which is attached with plastic hardware, can detach unexpectedly and create a space between the crib wall and the adjacent mattress. Infants and toddlers can become trapped in the space and suffocate or fall to the floor, the agency said.

There have been 110 documented incidents of drop-side detachment, including 67 in the United States and 43 in Canada. Among those, four resulted in suffocation and 20 resulted in falls that caused injuries ranging from concussion to bumps and bruises.

It was the second time Stork Craft cribs were recalled this year. In January, about 535,000 were recalled amid safety concerns.

Safety advocates have urged federal regulators to impose tougher standards on companies that make drop-side cribs and some have called for an outright ban. "CPSC is working on new federal rules to make all cribs safer," said agency spokesperson Scott Wolfson.

Before Monday's announcement, more than 5 million cribs, bassinets and play yards had been recalled since the beginning of 2007, according to CPSC.

This includes the recall of 400,000 drop-side cribs by manufacturer Simplicity in July, as the result of some fatalities, according to the CPSC. The agency also said that 600,000 drop-side cribs were recalled by Delta Enterprise in October. The recalls were prompted by concerns that infants and toddlers could get trapped by the mechanism of the crib and suffocate.

"This has certainly been a hazard that we've been aware of for some time," said Nancy Cowles, director of Kids In Danger, a Chicago-based advocacy group. Drop-side cribs have been associated with "dozens of deaths" over the years, she added.