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NBC33 Safety Alert: Parents Warn of Drop-Side Cribs

POSTED: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 9:16am

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:59pm

Your child's bed should be one of the safest places in your house, but a certain kind of crib could put your infant in danger. The risk is so serious that one New York county has banned them.

Michele Witte lost her 9-month-old son tyler in 1997. Susan Cirigliano lost her 6-month-old bobby in 2004. Both died because of "drop side" cribs.

"The side rail of his crib detached and his head was stuck between the side rail and the mattress, and he suffocated," explains Cirigliano. At least 90 deaths and 11,000 injuries have been attributed to the popular cribs, yet they are still being sold.

"For years, I could go into a store and see my son's crib there, on sale or advertised as #1 in safety," says Witte. "There's something very wrong about that." Witte's disgust helped move Suffolk County's legislature to vote unanimously to ban the sale of drop-side cribs, the first such ban in the nation.

Still, it's a bittersweet victory for the two moms. They want a nationwide ban.
Manufacturers have recalled five-million drop side cribs, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is moving to make safety regulations mandatory, but the cribs are still in stores and these women vow to get them out to prevent more heartbreak like theirs.