Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently announced that legislation he sponsored to strengthen New York State’s ban on dangerous drop-side cribs has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The law expands the state’s existing drop-side crib ban to prohibit drop-side cribs from being used at child-care facilities and other places of public accommodation and ensures that New York’s law conforms with federal regulations.
“New York State and the federal government banned the sale and manufacturing of drop-side cribs because they have led to tragedies and forced parents to endure the unthinkable. Preventing drop-side cribs from being used in day care centers, child care facilities, and other public places is another step we can take to protect children from harm. I commend Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation,” said Senator Fuschillo.
New York State banned the sale, import, manufacture, and distribution of drop-side cribs throughout the State under a 2010 law sponsored by Senator Fuschillo. The federal government followed with their own ban on drop-side cribs which took effect in 2011. Malfunctioning drop-side cribs have been blamed for a number of deaths and injuries to children, including on Long Island.
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. Safety concerns led to millions of cribs being taken out of circulation through CPSC product recalls.
The new law expands New York’s law to prohibit drop-side cribs from being used in child care facilities and other public places of accommodations, such as hotels and motels. The law also ensures that New York’s law conforms with federal rules which prohibit drop-side cribs from being used in child care facilities and other public places of accommodation. New York State’s Office of Children and Family Services will be responsible for notifying child care facilities and providing them information in plain, non-technical language that will allow them to identify drop-side and other cribs deemed unsafe by the CSPC.
Michele Witte of Merrick, whose infant son Tyler died when he became entrapped by the drop-side of his crib, strongly supports the law. Mrs. Witte said “My son’s life was stolen from us because of a drop-side crib. Other families had the same thing happen to them and must now live with the same pain I will feel every day for the rest of my life. We know these cribs are dangerous; they should not be used anywhere, period. New York has now taken another step forward to make sure these cribs never harm another child again. I appreciate Senator Fuschillo’s continued efforts to protect children.”
The law takes effect October 29th.