State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that a new law he sponsored banning drop-side cribs in New York State takes effect today.
Malfunctioning drop-side cribs have been blamed for multiple deaths and injuries of children, including on Long Island. Over nine million cribs have been recalled by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) due to the dangers they pose to infants and toddlers. Tens of thousands of drop-side cribs were recalled just last week because potential entrapment and suffocation hazards.
Senator Fuschillo said, “Drop-side cribs have been proven dangerous to children’s safety time and time again. Children’s products that can potentially kill a child don’t belong on the market. As of today in New York State, drop-side cribs will be exactly where they belong; out of the stores and off of the shelves.”
The law sponsored by Senator Fuschillo, Senator Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), and Senator Stephen Saland (R-Poughkeepsie), bans the sale, import, manufacture, and distribution of drop-side cribs throughout New York State. Assemblywoman Ginny Fields (D-Oakdale) sponsored the measure in the Assembly.
Two local families who lost children to drop-side cribs, Michele & Henning Witte of Merrick and Robert & Susan Cirigliano of North Bellmore, strongly advocated for the new law and worked closely with Senator Fuschillo to get the legislation passed. Both testified about their experiences at a public forum Senator Fuschillo sponsored in February.
Michele Witte of Merrick, whose 10-month old son was killed by a drop-side crib, said, “Far too many children, including my own son, Tyler Jonathan, died in drop-side cribs after becoming entrapped when drop-side hardware caused the side-rail of their cribs to loosen or detach. Millions of these cribs have already been recalled because they can potentially strangle a child. These cribs are dangerous and thanks to Senator Fuschillo, they will no longer be on store shelves in New York State.”
Mr. & Mrs. Cirigliano of North Bellmore, who lost their 6-month old son to a drop-side crib, said when the law was signed, “We greatly appreciate Senator Fuschillo’s efforts to ban drop-side cribs throughout New York State. Since we lost our son Bobby in 2004, we have worked tirelessly to make parents aware of the deadly dangers posed by the drop-side crib. The one place where you would leave your child alone should not be a threat. What happened to Bobby should never happen to another child again. This law will go a long way to protecting children, and we appreciate Senator Fuschillo’s determination in making it a reality.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the hardware on a drop-side crib can often break or malfunction, causing the drop-side to detach and create a space between the drop-side and crib mattress. Infants and toddlers can roll into this space and become entrapped and suffocate, or sustain serious injury if the drop-side detaches completely.
The sale of drop-side cribs is also prohibited in at least eight states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.
In addition, the CPSC voted in favor of proposing new mandatory standards for cribs nationwide, which include a ban on drop-side cribs. This federal drop-side crib ban would most likely go into effect sometime next year, after a final vote by the CPSC and a waiting period for implementation.