State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that dangerous drop-side cribs will be banned in New York State, now that legislation he sponsored has been signed by Governor David Paterson.
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.
Senator Fuschillo said, “Drop-side cribs have been proven dangerous to children’s safety time and time again. Any product designed for children that can kill or injure a child does not belong on store shelves. With the signing of this law, New York State has taken a major step in protecting children from harm. I am pleased that Governor Paterson has signed this legislation into law.”
The new 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, “The law Senator Fuschillo sponsored is a giant step forward in safeguarding our most precious residents: our children. My son, Tyler Jonathan, died in 1997 because his neck got trapped between the side-rail and headboard of his drop-side crib. Dozens of babies have died after becoming entrapped when drop-side hardware caused the side-rail of their cribs to loosen or detach. Millions of cribs have been recalled due to the strangulation hazard. Drop-side cribs don’t belong on store shelves, and thanks to this new law, they no longer will be in New York State. ”
Mr. & Mrs. Cirigliano of North Bellmore, who lost their 6-month old son to a drop-side crib, said, “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.
The CPSC recently 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. New York State’s law takes effect at the end of October, getting these dangerous products off store shelves months earlier.