I did some research (Google, so it must be true!)
Seems they've been banned in the US, because of multiple deaths. They are not banned here as far as I can ascertain. But Toys r Us don't stock drop sides, and many manufacturers are phasing them
out. I suppose they are worried about recalls, as happened in the US.
The concern is that over time through constant use the mechanism degrades and can fail, the baby can be trapped and suffocate.
I have one, and the mechanism is sturdy and very stiff to use. I don't bother most of the time. It was bought in 2010. I can't imagine my son could activate it as I have to use both hands and a fair bit of strength to do so.
Yeah I heard the same thing. I think someons actually posted something on huggies about it thinking that it would effect us in AUS and NZ.
We hardly ever use ours either. We leave it in the lower position until bubs gets big enought that we have to put it back up.
Both our cots are Boori and DF and I checked that even if it did fail and the rail fell to floor level there would still be a good 20cm gap between the top of the mattress and the rail. Even with the base at newborn height and if the rail was to fall to to the floor there is still ample space. We even looked at the situation that kids may be crawling under the cot and the rail dropped to the lower level, there's still a good 13cm between the floor and the bottom of the rail. The only way we could see that it would ba an issue is if a kid was crawling underneath the cot and the rail fell all the way to the floor. Mind you, the rail would probably completely fall off if this was to happen. Well it could break the kids neck if the kid was in the wrong place at the wrong time!
I guess it just depends on the ratios of the cot.
I noticed that alot of the cheaper brands were doing it first and I've noticed in the past that Boori have started making some of the cots in their cheaper range(Boori Urban and Boori Waratah) without a dropside.
The worst part for me would be changing the sheets! It's hard enough with the dropside down!