By the title, you may think I am speaking of your church building but, believe it or not, I am really speaking about your literal crib. You know – the one you put infants in during church services, or possibly during the week if your church runs a daycare? What you may not know is that the Federal Government has been busy enacting new regulations about cribs to insure their safety. The new rules require compliance by December 28, 2012 for child care facilities and places of public accommodation.
Between November 2007 and April 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports of 147 crib-related fatalities. Of these, 35 were attributable to structural flaws. The largest change is that drop-down sides are no longer legal. Other changes include modifications to side rail height; greater durability of mattress supports, slats and hardware; and cribs must meet certain testing requirements.
The new law does not exempt churches. Thus, if a church operates a “child care facility” it must comply with the new laws. However, if the child care is merely provided by unpaid volunteers, say, during church services, then the cribs are not subject to the CPSC’s new standards. However, to avoid liability issues in the event an infant is injured, we recommend that you check out the law in more detail and bring your cribs into compliance by December 2012. This means destroying your old cribs and buying new, compliant cribs. Be aware that simply trying to address the drop down sides by installing a limiting device or other alteration to prevent that from happening will not likely meet the new law’s compliance requirements. More information can be found on the government’s web site: http://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/2011/06/14/the-new-crib-standard-questions-and-answers/