New federal safety standards for cribs are in effect as of June 28, 2011. After dozens of high-profile crib recalls and infant injuries linked to defective crib hardware, the new crib safety rules — which include a ban on all drop-side cribs — seek to establish “a new generation of safer cribs” and provide clear guidelines for parents and caregivers.

The new federal crib requirements (detailed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission here) can be broken down into five key provisions:
1. Drop-side cribs can no longer be manufactured, sold, or re-sold in the U.S. (parents and caregivers are instructed to either look into getting an immobilizer for a drop-side crib, or to disassemble and discard any drop-side cribs they own.)
2. Mattress supports must be stronger and more durable
3. Slats must be made of stronger wood to prevent breakage.
4. Crib hardware must be more durable, including incorporation of anti-loosening devices to keep hardware from coming loose and falling off.
5. Safety testing that is more rigorous, to better establish a crib’s durability over time.

If you’re in the market for a new crib, or if you’re wondering whether a crib you already have is in line with the new federal standards, you’ve probably got plenty of questions. Hopefully, CPSC has the answers. Check out The New Crib Standard: Questions and Answers and CPSC’s Crib Information Center for more information.