The hand that rocks the cradle is now attached to the long arm of the law.
The Feds have enacted tough new rules on baby-crib safety that, beginning today, effectively ban the sale of used cribs at retail outlets, online sites including eBay and Craigs-
list and even yard sales.
That's because a raft of new manufacturing guidelines were adopted in December that outlaw, among other design flaws, so-called "drop-side" cribs, whose moving parts have caused dozens of infant fatalities over the past decade, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"It's going to be very challenging for a used crib to be found out there that is compliant with the new rules," CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson told The Post. "We essentially have established the most stringent safety standards in the world."
The stricter standards have raised the bar for a new generation of cribs on the market. Scrambling to get current with the first tightening of federal standards since the early 1970s, retailers and manufacturers have been clearing out outdated cribs that don't pass muster.
"We're in the process of breaking down our drop-side cribs this afternoon," Francesca Lapara, a sales associate at Rooms By Zoya B., said yesterday. The Upper West Side children's furnishings boutique "is not going to show them on the floor -- if someone falls in love with the style, we can't sell it."
Some smaller retailers lobbied regulators for a grace period that would allow them more time to sell off their existing inventory. At least one estimate pegs the cost of scrapping about 100,000 outmoded cribs at around $30 million in lost sales, according to the AP.
Meanwhile, as of late afternoon yesterday on Craigslist's New York City site, a search on "baby cribs" turned up more than 300 ads, many of which appeared to be listings of used cribs. A similar search on eBay yielded more than 22,000 listings.
"Right now, we're going to focus mainly on education," the CSPC's Wolfson said. Nevertheless, sources said the new rules call for civil penalties up to $100,000 per violation.
It's not known how the agency will police sales of now-illegal cribs, which are sold in yard and garage sales in practically every neighborhood and every city across the country. The rule appears to open up for fines families just looking to make an extra few bucks on the sale of an unneeded piece of furniture.
Spokespeople for eBay and Craigslist didn't respond to requests for comment.
In addition to drop-side cribs, banned designs include cribs that haven't been subjected to a newly drawn-up regimen of grueling tests. One fresh requirement calls for a given model to be shaken from the top of its rails 72,000 times, simulating the shaking done by an energetic infant
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