A dropside cot is a cot where one side can be lowered or raised for easier access to the baby and therefore less back strain for parents.
There is a lot of misinformation on the internet concerning dropside cots, which is why when doing online research, one should strive to use reliable sources that are relevant to Australian safety standards.
Dropside cots have been banned in the USA due to dropside related accidents that resulted in deaths. However, these were a result of poorly designed dropside mechanisms and lower quality materials used.
In Australia, dropside mechanisms and materials used in the construction of cots are devised to ensure safety is maintained over repeated use of the dropside. All cots sold in Australia need to pass the Australian/New Zealand safety standards (AS/NZS 2172: 2013); this standard includes a section where a rigorous test is used to ensure that dropsides retain their strength and integrity over multiple uses.
If you have a dropside cot and are still concerned about its safety, simply don’t use the dropside mechanism. Most dropsides require a somewhat convoluted mechanism to activate the dropside (eg. Raising the side first and pushing the bottom in). If you just keep the side up, the cot can essentially be used as a fixed side cot.