Cribs faulted in 2 deaths

A recall of nearly 1.6million cribs, triggered by the suffocation of two 8-month-old infants, has prompted a government agency to urge parents to inspect older drop-side cribs for safety problems.

Both of the suffocations involved infants who got stuck in a gap created when the movable side came off its guide track.

The incidents, which involved Delta Enterprise cribs, involved safety pegs that are intended to prevent the drop side from lowering too far and slipping off the track. If these pegs are not installed, or if they fail to engage, the drop-side can detach and create a dangerous gap where babies can get stuck.

The recall was announced Monday.

“We ask parents to inspect your crib from time to time and tighten up the hardware,” Nancy Nord, acting head of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said Tuesday. “It's very important that parents understand they need to inspect the integrity of the hardware.”

In May 2007 an 8-month-old girl from Bryan, Texas, died because the safety pegs on her crib were not installed. The crib's side detached, leaving a gap where she got stuck and suffocated. More than a year later, in July 2008, an 8-month-old boy in Tallahassee, Fla., suffocated after a spring-loaded safety peg failed and allowed the side of his crib to detach.

The Delta Enterprise recall included 985,000 drop-side cribs of various models, because of the potential for missing safety pegs. These cribs were manufactured in Taiwan and Indonesia and sold by major retailers including Wal-Mart, Kmart and, between January 1995 and September 2007. The recall also included 600,000 cribs of various models with spring-loaded safety pegs. These cribs were manufactured in China and sold between January 2000 and January 2007.