As those new crib safety standards took effect this week, reader Rachel L. writes in with a question about whether discontinued crib models are unsafe:

I haven’t seen anything on your website regarding the Pali Cribs that have recently been discontinued: the Empoli and Ferrara models. I was wondering if you know why they have been discontinued? Are they safe to use? I heard (but am not sure if it is true) that they were discontinued because the manufacturer decided not to test them to see if they were in compliance with the new regulations. If that is true, why were these two in particular discontinued, but none of the other Pali models?

Actually, several crib makers (not just Pali) decided to discontinue crib models in wake of the new safety standards. Why? These models most likely did not meet the new safety standards, which require stronger crib slat and mattress supports, “durable hardware” and other requirements. And the cost of re-engineering the models to meet the new standards would have been too expensive.

We also suspect that the models that were discontinued were slow sellers that probably would have been discontinued at some point in the near future; the new safety standards just sped up that decision.

So if you have a discontinued Pali crib sitting in your nursery, is it safe? Yes, in our opinion. It is safe to use, as long as the hardware is in good working order. Like all cribs, you should periodically check to make sure the bolts are tightened, the slats are not loose or damaged, etc.

The only exception to this rule would probably be an older-model drop-side crib. Given the number of recalls on these models, it would be best to retire that crib to a landfill and get a new static-side model.