Could Crib Tents Become a Regulated Product?

On December 27, 2008, the strangulation death of Noah Thompson by a Tots In Mind crib tent became the first to be investigated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission involving this unregulated product. Eighteen months later, in July, the commission and the manufacturer finally announced a recall featuring a repair remedy for the attachment clips.

The Thompson case underscores two continuing weaknesses in the regulatory framework meant to ensure the safety of juvenile products: long gaps between the time when a product is deemed hazardous and a recall, and the difficulty in dealing with baby products that fall outside of the CPSC regulations and are not manufactured to any voluntary or mandatory standard.

The CPSC says that the Tots In Mind recall may only be the first action it takes to protect toddlers from the design deficiencies of crib tents.

Crib Tents: Another Hazard from the World of Unregulated Child Products

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V6, I1

VINALHAVEN, ME - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened a probe in December 2008 into the strangulation death of a two-year-old who became entangled in the mesh netting of his crib tent.

Noah Thompson of Harvard, Mass., was strangled when his head got stuck between the mattress and mesh covering that was placed over his portable crib. His parents, Marc Thompson and Lisa Rosen, told state police that they had used the netting to prevent their son from climbing
out of the crib.