New York Senator Introduces Bill to Ban Sale of Drop-Side Cribs
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced S.3400 late Monday to ban the sale, manufacture, distribution and use in public facilities of drop-side cribs in the United States. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Representative Joe Crowley, also of New York, plans to introduce a similar legislation in the House this week.
Two New York counties, Nassau and Suffolk, have already banned the sale of these cribs.
Cribs with a side rail that moves up and down so that parents can more easily lift children from them have been the subject of more than 7 million crib recalls since 2005, with 1.5 million recalls this year alone. Since 2000, there have been at least 32 infant and toddler deaths related to the cribs and another 14 that are suspected.
The movable side on the drop-side cribs can detach, which creates a space that can trap a child between the side and the mattress, causing them to suffocate.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has warned about the problem for years, and Chairman Inez Tenenbaum has pledged to issue new manufacturing standards by the end of the year which will make fixed-side cribs mandatory, likely sometime in 2011.
Much of the industry has already started phasing out drop-side cribs and large retailers such as Babies R Us and Wal-Mart have stopped selling them. However, there are still many in use in homes and day cares, and people continue to sell the cribs at yard sales, consignment shops, and through the Internet on sites such as CraigsList.
Senator Gillibrand said in an interview with the Associated Press, "There is a great urgency here. We have to make sure that no parent is unaware that drop-side cribs could kill their children. There still are thousands and thousands of children who are sleeping every night in drop-side cribs and we need to protect them.”
For more on crib recalls, see: