ALBANY–State Senator Stephen M. Saland (R-41st), ranking member of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, and Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-8th) have introduced legislation to ban the sale of drop-side cribs in the state. The cribs have caused the suffocation deaths of at least two New York infants, and 11 infant fatalities nationwide.
“The tragic death of these infants in New York State and the recall of millions of drop-side cribs clearly signal the potential dangers of these cribs. The state needs to take these defective cribs out of the marketplace now before another child is harmed,” Senator Saland said in a release from his office.
Drop-side cribs allow parents to raise and lower one side for easy access. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a drop-side crib’s hardware, often made of plastic, can break or malfunction, causing the drop-side to detach. When this occurs, a space is created between the drop-side and the crib mattress. Infants and toddlers can roll into this space and become entrapped, which can lead to suffocation.
Other injuries associated with drop-side cribs include bumps, bruises and concussions, which occur when the side of the crib completely detaches.
The proposed law would prohibit the import, manufacture, sale and distribution of drop-side cribs in New York State.
The CPSC reported that in May, 2007, seven-month-old Courtney Sue Barr got trapped between the mattress and the gate of her defective drop-side crib and suffocated in her Gouverneur (St. Lawrence County) home. A nine-month-old child in the Bronx also suffocated after being entrapped by a drop-side crib, according to the CPSC.
In addition, parents on Long Island who attribute their infant sons’ deaths to a defective drop-side crib have worked with the county legislatures to ban the sale of drop-side cribs in Suffolk and Nassau counties.
The CPSC has recalled millions of drop-side cribs in the United States due to infant deaths and injuries.