It's one of the biggest purchases for soon-to-be parents: a crib for baby. Beginning Tuesday, a new generation of cribs, designed to be safer, will be the only ones approved for sale - in stores, online, and even at neighborhood yard sales.
Ushering in one of the most significant changes in child safety in decades, the rule taking effect this week bans the manufacture, sale and resale of drop-side cribs. Drop-sides have a side rail that can be raised and lowered to allow parents to more easily place or lift a baby, but they have been blamed in the deaths of several dozen children.
Another significant part of the new federal standard mandates more rigorous safety tests for children's cribs before they hit the market. In the past, manufacturers were allowed to retighten screws and bolts on a crib in the middle of hardware testing meant to mimic how a child might rattle a crib - by jumping up and down or shaking a rail.
While the tests were intended to simulate a toddler in a crib, they don't mimic the reality of the parent. It's a rare parent who would know when to retighten obscure pieces of hardware on a crib during normal use by a child.
The retightening of screws and bolts during durability tests on cribs ends Tuesday, as part of the new rule approved last year by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Stronger mattress support systems and crib slats are also a major part of the new testing.