updated 5/7/2010 4:23:57 PM ET 2010-05-07T20:23:57

At least 32 young children have strangled or suffocated in the past nine years due to defects and other problems of drop-side cribs, the government says in another warning about these types of cribs.

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In the same time period, there were another 14 reported children's deaths in drop-side cribs, although safety officials have not conclusively determined if a drop-side problem caused these deaths, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Friday.

The agency also said there have been hundreds of incidents caused by or related to drop-side detachments in cribs made by various manufacturers.

Drop-side cribs have one side that moves up and down to allow parents, especially shorter adults, to lift children from the cribs more easily.

The agency reiterated Friday that drop-side cribs tend to be less structurally sound than cribs with four fixed-sides. The side that moves up and down — the drop side — can break, deform or detach, creating a dangerous gap between the crib mattress and dropped side.

In the past five years, the agency said it has announced 11 recalls involving more than 7 million drop-side cribs due to suffocation and strangulation hazards. CPSC's warning comes a day after 170,000 drop-side cribs under the names C&T International, Sorelle and Golden Baby were recalled due to infant injuries. Last week, the agency announced a recall of thousands of Simplicity and Graco cribs.

Some of the 32 deaths occurred when the drop side detached without caregivers noticing. Others deaths happened when a consumer tried to repair a drop-side crib or a caregiver installed a crib's drop-side incorrectly due to confusing or incorrect directions.

For more information about product recalls, consumers can call 800-638-2772 or visit http://www.cpsc.gov.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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