Wednesday, August 25, 2010

AYM is Dropping Drop Side Cribs from Inventory

The Assisting Young Mothers Program (AYM) is reaching out to Alternative House supporters for help. On July 10, 2010 the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously on new mandatory standards for cribs. These new regulations, which are scheduled to take effect in 2011, will ban the manufacture, sale and use of all drop-side cribs. Currently, AYM only owns one crib (out of twelve) that will meet these standards.
But, why make these changes? The Consumer Product Safety Commission attributed 32 infant deaths to defective drop-side cribs and is considering the role of drop-side cribs in 14 other infant deaths. The commission is also pushing for better mattress support, higher quality wood and sturdier hardware. This ban is not just concerning for families with hand-me-down cribs. Hotels, childcare providers, family shelters and transitional living programs will all be responsible for replacing inventory. While necessary, replacing cribs will prove to be expensive. Small companies and non-profit groups, such as AYM, will suffer most from this ban. With little funding in a poor economy, it will be difficult to replace the inventory that has taken so long to build.
Our organization is beginning to prepare for this measure now and will no longer accept drop side crib donations. AYM will fully comply with the orders and mandates of the ban set forth by the safety commission. However, we fear that in doing so AYM infants and toddlers will be forced to co-sleep with their mothers or sleep on mattresses on the floor if our crib inventory is not replaced. Furthermore, these scenarios pose a multitude of other safety concerns and hazards for the children. We rely heavily – almost solely – on the donations of families, companies, and organizations. AYM will not be able to provide cribs to our mothers and children after the ban without the support of our community. We hope to make the transition smoothly and be able to replace all drop side cribs before the ban goes into effect. Please consider AYM when thinking of monetary or gift donations this year.

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