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New Rules Rock the Cradle

Make sure your congregation's cribs are up to code.

Does your church have cribs in the nursery? Do you operate a childcare center that has cribs? If you answered "yes" to either question, there are new federal regulations that apply to you—and unfamiliarity with them could lead to substantial penalties and civil lawsuits for your church.

Beginning June 28, 2011, traditional drop-side cribs may not be sold in the United States, nor can repair kits or other remedies be used in an attempt to make them safer. Under new guidelines, cribs with wood slats must be made of stronger wood, crib hardware must have anti-loosening devices, crib mattress supports must be more durable, and safety testing must be more rigorous. These regulations apply to churches if they sell or otherwise dispose of noncompliant cribs on or after June 28, 2011.

Another key requirement of the new regulations takes effect on December 28, 2012. On and after that date, any crib that is used by a childcare facility must meet the new safety standards. The law does not define ...

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