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Agency Considers Ban On Crib Toys

August 17, 1990

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Consumer Product Safety Commission is considering a ban or limit on what toys and decorations can be hung over infant cribs.

The decision to consider the problem, approved Thursday on a 2-1 vote, calls for the staff to investigate solutions to the hazards posed by such items. The commission received reports of 30 strangulation deaths, one case of severe brain damage, and 18 ″near-misses″ involving decorative ropes or mobiles for cribs.

The Consumer Federation of American and the New York attorney general’s office petitioned the agency for an outright ban of the items. Thursday’s vote means the panel will await further recommendations of its staff and general comment from the public before deciding upon any mandatory requirements.

One alternative to banning the products, said staff member Ann Pavlich, might be labeling which warns parents to remove the overhead crib items before infants are large enough to reach them and try to pull themselves upright - possibly to tumble with them wrapped around their neck. She suggested an age guideline might be 5 months.

Such ″crib toys″ or ″gyms″ are not to be confused with separate baby toys, designed for actual handling by the infant, and for which the government has long since set safety standards.

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